MAJORCA-BASED professional British dog trainer and psychologist Bill Jarvis yesterday called for better treatment of animals to mark the San Anthony festival and the annual blessing of animals. Formerly a member of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps Mr. Jarvis has thirty years experience in the field.
He regularly visits dog shelters on the island and selects abandoned dogs to train as specialist police and security dogs all over the world.
Once selected the dogs train from between 12 weeks and six months before working in specialist fields, detecting drugs, explosives, arms and forged currency. The majority of the dogs trained by Jarvis are destined for the various law enforcement agencies in the United States.
He said that since the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, the need for security dogs has dramatically increased around the world.
The weekend festival holds special significance for Mr Jarvis.
Last Monday he happened to be visiting a Municipal Dog Pound when a Great Dane was brought in suffering from particularly bad mistreatment. As is not uncommon according to Mr Jarvis, the Pound lacked the medical supplies and resources necessary to treat the dog. Unable to turn his back he took BEAUTY (as she is now known) home to be given the specialist care he could provide.
Mr Jarvis has been on the island for fifteen years and feels that although awareness of animal cruelty is growing, not a great deal has changed in that time. He says that the answer is to educate young people, starting off in schools with children of six and seven and teaching them how animals need to be cared for. Mr Jarvis appealed to pet owners and churches to offer any monetary donations given over the weekend to the shelters all over the island whose excellent and unrecognized work is carried out with such limited funding. He added Most Municipal dog pounds are run by overworked caring people but they are grossly underfunded by the councils and as with the case of this Great Dane, inexperienced to care for animals correctly.
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