The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has appointed Rachel Hayball of Woof Less Wag More Dog Training and Behaviour in Beaminster, Dorset, as regional coordinator England, for its Shock-Free Coalition.
The coalition is part of a global advocacy campaign which aims to end the practice of administering electric shock to train, manage, and care for pets. As regional coordinator, Hayball will work directly with PPG leadership in tandem with its legal and public relations partners to begin working on legislation worldwide.
Following its launch in September 2017, the establishment of regional chapters across the United States and internationally has marked the second phase of the Shock-Free Coalition and focuses on growing the brand through localised advocacy activities.
As one of the first regional coordinators, Hayball will help build their role from a grassroots level alongside colleagues both nation and worldwide. PPG are still taking applications for additional regional representatives.
The Shock-Free Coalition is the first advocacy program of its kind to have been initiated by a member association for pet professionals. Its goals include engaging and educating pet owners and shelter/rescue workers to help them make informed decisions about the management, care and training of the pets in their charge; building a worldwide coalition that provides pet owners access to competent, educated pet industry service providers; and creating widespread pet industry transparency and compliance regarding how professionals implement their services and communicate their philosophy to pet owners.
Niki Tudge, PPG president, said: “The role of Shock-Free Coalition coordinator is an exciting one for individuals who are passionate about the initiative, the pledge and its goals, and who want to work closely with PPG to move our advocacy platform forward. With the added support of a legal team, this will be a dynamic and fast-paced movement.
“The drive to ban electric shock in the pet industry is gathering momentum and it is time for the associations and organisations representing pet training and behaviour professionals to take a stand and make public policy decisions on the use and potential fallout of electric shock collars. This is a watershed moment for PPG and the lives of our pets and we are delighted to have Rachel Hayball onboard to support us in this very important initiative.”
Hayball added: “Given the growing body of scientific research, we now know that electric shock causes both physical and psychological damage to pets. As we already have highly effective, positive, humane training alternatives available to us, there is absolutely no reason for shock to play any part in the current pet industry culture of accepted practices, tools or philosophies.
“Unfortunately, pet owners are often unaware of the huge disparity in methods trainers and pet professionals may be using, and only find out when they are left to deal with the fallout, which includes the risk of more fearful or aggressive behaviour, or indeed, a complete shutdown where no behaviour is offered at all.”
“As regional coordinator for the Shock-Free Coalition, I look forward to helping raise awareness amongst pet owners of the risks of aversive training devices such as shock collars, guiding them towards more effective, scientifically-sound alternatives, and improving the lives of pets and their owners throughout England,” she concluded.