Coronavirus Update

Due to the government announcement on Saturday 31st October 2020.  All home checks and dog assessments are suspended until further notice.


A home/dog assessment for Heart Welfare is classed as voluntary work that cannot be carried out anywhere other than the applicants/relinquishers home, and all parties must follow our basic COVID-19 principles.

Assessments will not be carried out if any party demonstrates or discloses any of the following:

· A person is over the age of 70 and deemed vulnerable

· A person is shielding - as identified as very high risk of severe illness from COVID

· Symptoms: high temperature (>37.8oC) and/or new continuous cough

· If any person may be self-isolating for a number of possible reasons:

  • a confirmed case
  • a possible case - symptomatic with new continuous cough/high temp
  • return from another country

***In the interest of health and safety, if volunteers and/or applicants demonstrate any of the above, please inform a member of the Heart Welfare team prior to the home visit.

Volunteers must communicate with applicants/relinquishers prior to arrival, and on arrival, to ensure the household understands the social distance and hygiene measures that should be followed while the assessment is taking place.

There are a number of questions on the assessment form that can be discussed over the phone prior to the actual home visit, this will reduce the time spent in the applicants/relinquishers home.

Face masks must be worn and hand hygiene must be carried out by all parties by either washing hands or using hand sanitiser before and after the visit. The usual 2m social distancing rule must be adhered to at all times.

Face covering guidance

· wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and before and after removing it

· when wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands

· change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it

· continue to wash your hands regularly

· change and wash your face covering daily

· if the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste

Hand hygiene guidance

Ensure hands are washed with soap and water:

· on arrival at the home

· before and after putting on/taking off PPE

· before and after contact with the applicants/relinquishers

· after leaving the home

If soap and water are not available, then alcohol hand rub (70% alcohol content) is an alternative if hands are visibly clean. Otherwise hand wipes should be used, followed by alcohol hand rub.

A home check/dog assessment is voluntary work, and will be entirely the decision of the volunteer to decide if they want to carry out the assessment or not.

While this guidance applies to England, you should always consider whether there are local restrictions in place in your area. If you live, work or volunteer in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local restrictions have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local restrictions pages to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.

Government guidance for visiting other peoples homes (employees and volunteers)

Government guidance for volunteers: