Southern Lurcher Rescue/Lifeline Trustee Statement
We have received many queries about the changes within Southern Lurcher Rescue/Lifeline and felt it would be easiest to respond to them all in one place. We hope these answers help people to understand why we have changed both our name and our ‘mission’.
- What was the reason for closing down Southern Lurcher Rescue?
The decision was taken by the Trustees on the basis of a longstanding and ongoing lack of available foster places (despite a dedicated ‘Foster Focus’ campaign on Facebook), which meant we were no longer able to fulfil our role as a ‘non-kennelling’ Rescue, as registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales via our 2008 Governing Document. It was also heavily influenced by the failing health and/or retirement of several members of the Board.
- Why didn’t you consult all the Southern Lurcher members (adopters, fosterers, fundraisers etc.) before proceeding?
The Charity did not then, and does not now, have the kind of constitution which has ‘members’ who are entitled to a vote. The Board of Trustees is solely responsible for any and all decisions that need to be made.
The only ‘members’ that Southern Lurcher Rescue/Lifeline has are the members of our forum and Facebook group.
- Why didn’t somebody else just take over, if the old Trustees felt unable to continue?
This was originally the Trustees preferred option, on the proviso that they would take a portion of the current Rescue assets to set up a new, separate fund-raising Charity for sighthounds in need of veterinary assistance.
Unfortunately, whilst the Board was still exploring the steps needed to proceed with such a handover and waiting for further instruction from the Charity Commission, certain individuals decided to take matters into their own hands and started to misuse passwords and effect changes that were not yet authorised.
Even more unfortunately, when confronted about those unauthorised changes, some of the parties in question then resorted to allegations of financial malpractice within the Charity and there has since been a campaign of rumour, harassment and online personal attacks on certain Trustees from the same quarter.
In light of all the conflict, and after much discussion, the Board came to the sad conclusion that handing the Charity over was not an option after all, as they felt it was doubtful that the original ethos and spirit of SLR would be continued.
- What have you done with all the SLR funds, and the Rescue van?
All Southern Lurcher Rescue assets have been transferred into the ownership of Southern Lurcher Lifeline. The funds are in the same bank account, with the same number, as they were previously. We have simply changed the name on the account. The van is now being used to transport stock and equipment to the fundraising events we are attending.
- Why are you now operating under a new name of Southern Lurcher Lifeline?
To close the organisation entirely, in accordance with Charity Commission statutes, meant that all funds/assets would need to be realised and spent. This was not an option for us as we have sponsored dogs that we have committed to support for life.
It was therefore suggested that if we changed the ‘mission’ of the original Charity, removing the no longer viable re-homing aspect and focusing on ‘fundraising and awareness’, we could instead use our existing funds and those raised in the future to:
- Continue to support our sponsored dogs;
- Give grants to non-SLR dogs in need of medical care;
- Make donations to other rescues needing assistance with veterinary costs.
The Board – both existing and new members – were all in agreement with this suggestion and so, in consultation with and approval from the Charity Commission, we forged ahead.
As of 30th May 2018 :-
Our registered Charity name is now Southern Lurcher Lifeline.
Our Registered Charity number remains the same: 1126665.
Our registered Governing Document no longer includes the re-homing of dogs.
We will, of course, always do our utmost to support any former SLR dog who may again need assistance and/or re-homing, as outlined on our website.
We would encourage anybody who is interested in the financial side of our work to watch our Charity Commission page for future updates.
We would like to thank all those who helped us to make such a success of the first 11 years of Southern Lurcher life. We hope you will continue to support us as we look to the future and continue to promote and assist sighthounds in a new way.
We now consider this matter closed and will not be replying to further enquiries as to our reasons for and/or methods of changing direction. The entire Southern Lurcher committee would like to return the focus to the most important matter of all – the dogs.