When Justine Williams left the RSPCA she decided she wanted to have a greater understanding of why people give up their pets.
Having worked in the communications and campaigns department, she'd tried to make sense of the huge problem of dogs being abandoned.
Before she had her children, she remembered turning to Mumsnet for help on what to expert and how to adjust her lifestyle.
And as a new mum, she spent many a time in the small hours getting advice on forums.
Justine realised there wasn't anything similar for puppy owners, or new dog owners.
So she studied human behaviour change and decided to create Our Family Dog, a website and community supporting new pet parents.
Launched just before lockdown at the end of 2019, the site has grown hugely and in this episode Justine shares her story.
Key timings and topics in this episode:
0.45 - Justine’s background and Our Family Dog.
1.30 - Justine’s work at the RSPCA in animal welfare.
3.00 - Studying the relationship between impulse purchases and dogs being handed in to rescue centres.
3.30 - Realising the similarity between parenting and having a pup.
5.30 - Studying human behaviour change at the University of Derby.
8.27 - How people responded to Mumsnet for dogs!
11.06 - How people feel when they are struggling with their pets and why Justine thought it was key to focus on the owner as well as the dog.
12.14 - How Our Family Dog works.
16.18 - Why community is so important to pet parents.
17.56 - The impact of lockdown on Our Family Dog and why support is needed more than ever.
19.38 - The issues Justine is seeing and how she’s trying to provide the tools to support dogs post lockdown and why it’s important to step into their shoes.
22.02 - Justine’s concerns about dogs and where they might end up post lockdown.
24.58 - Our Family Dog’s mission to support owners as they return to normal.
26.02 - Justine’s advice for owners who need support, to find a trainer who is a member of the Association for Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) accredited behaviourist and pet professionals who are in the Pet Industry Federation. (PIF)
28.40 - The importance of rewards based training.
28.22 - Justine’s mission for Our Family Dog.
31.15 - How pet professionals can work with Our Family Dog.
Links mentioned in this episode:
Find Justine on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ourfamilydoguk
Or find out more about opportunities to work with Our Family Dog here, including link sharing, affiliate partnership, and more: www.ourfamilydog.org.uk/