YOUR COMMITTEE & MENTORS
Certificate II in Animal Studies
Cert III • Canine Behaviour Training
Ethical Standards Manager
INFORMATION FOR OUR MEMBERS
Your responsibilities as a member
SOCIAL MEDIA USE
At Verndogs, we want to protect all members of the community, not just ours.
That’s why we believe it’s important to ensure standards of behaviour outlined in our ethical standards, are being followed online as well.
We do not tolerate any form of discrimination, bullying or other illegal activity, so we have laid out some basic rules for our members to follow.
No public doxing or “call outs”
It’s unnecessary, it’s a targeted attack and its bullying. These call outs can be extremely detrimental to the health of a person. No matter how much you think they deserve it, they don’t, its hurtful and its detrimental. Everybody makes mistakes. Posting indirect posts targeting a specific person fall under the same category. Defamation is defamation whether the information you share is true or not. Don’t put yourself in the position to be sued.
No sharing private screenshots.
It’s illegal, it’s a privacy breach. Unless all parties permit you sharing screenshots, you can be sued for it. Sharing screenshots with ill intent again is extremely detrimental. I don’t care what the other person said, if it was said in a private chat, it stays in a private chat. Sharing information somebody was saying about another person hurts both people. The only exception to sharing screenshots is if they are being used as proof of bullying or failure to follow our ethical standards, where they can be sent directly to our client services team at email@example.com no where else.
No rude comments or messages.
This one is pretty straight forward, nothing nice to say? Say nothing at all. Unless the information you are sharing is educational and can help the person you’re sharing it with, don’t say anything at all. Rude comments is bullying, doesn’t matter if its repeated or not, targeting a specific person still falls under the category of bullying, and why would you want to share negative energy anyway? Bring everybody up, it feels better.
No sharing photos or images of teams without permission
No seriously, do not take photos or videos of people and their dogs. Fake spotting is not on, dogs have off days, how embarrassed would you be if somebody shared a photo of you and your dog because your dog acted up on an off day. Taking videos for your protection is fine, but sharing them is not on. You can share them privately with family or friends, but once they’re on a public forum, you cannot control the horrible things others might say.
No targeting specific organisations or associations
Its still bullying, there are people behind these businesses. Talking about how much you hate an organisation or association is incredibly detrimental. Feel free to share your experiences, but back it with proof, and don’t target specific members or staff.
Failure to comply with these standards will result in immediate suspension, and depending on the circumstance, immediate termination of your membership with Verndogs Australia.
Terminations from Verndogs Australia will never warrant a refund, unless we believe you did not utilise our services. You’re always welcome to request a refund, but nothing is guaranteed.
Any members or ex members are to take complaints directly to firstname.lastname@example.org in writing before publicly posting any defamatory content online.
Doing so allows a resolution process to be followed, and to ensure any evidence or claims which are made can be actioned immediately.
Any members who leave Verndogs for any reason or any members who are terminated from Verndogs are not permitted to share information about Verndogs, their members or any other counterparts without prior permission from Verndogs.
We appreciate feedback and take all feedback on board, and are always striving to grow and continually improve. Unfortunately it is impossible to grow when defamatory content is posted online or shared otherwise.
Verndogs also reserves the right to share the following information if necessary:
The reason for your termination
The evidence surrounding your termination
Committee processes and decisions
Whether a refund was granted/wasn’t granted and why
This information may be shared to members, the public or to a legal team.
We will never share personal information including your medical history, location, age or other personal details.
Verndogs takes pride not only in the training of dogs, but the standards of human behaviour too. We do not tolerate or condone any form of bullying, animal cruelty, illegal behaviour, or provision of false information.
To obtain an assistance dog, handlers must first have a disability. You will provide proof of this to Verndogs through a Doctor Declaration form which is included with your application. Failure to provide this proof means Verndogs cannot process your application further. A disability in Australia is defined by The Disability Discrimination act 1992 as:
disability, in relation to a person, means:
total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or
total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person’s body; or
a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behaviour;
and includes a disability that:
presently exists; or
previously existed but no longer exists; or
may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
is imputed to a person.
To avoid doubt, a disability that is otherwise covered by this definition includes behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of the disability.
Verndogs do accept people with a multitude of psychiatric disabilities and understand some diagnoses may include symptoms such as delusions, irritability, mood swings, aggression, impulsivity, mania, paranoia, hallucinations, difficulties with interactions, panic attacks, altered consciousness, compulsive lying, inappropriate social interactions, sensory issues, difficulty understanding others emotions, apathy and others symptoms which can generally be seen as detrimental and unacceptable by the public. We understand many of these symptoms are difficult to regulate and manage, but you are responsible for managing these symptoms and maintaining reasonable control in order to keep you and other members safe and free from harm. See our ‘self help’ section of the website for resources for mental health support.
Should you be caught breaking any of Verndogs Ethical Standards or terms and conditions, your membership may be immediately terminated or suspended. If you wish to dispute a termination or suspension, contact Verndogs directly.
Definitions of each Verndogs Ethical Standard:
Bullying is when people repeatedly and intentionally use words or actions against someone or a group of people to cause distress and risk to their wellbeing.
The sort of repeated behaviour that can be considered bullying includes:
Keeping someone out of a group (online or offline)
Acting in an unpleasant way near or towards someone
Giving nasty looks, making rude gestures, calling names, being rude and impolite, and constantly negative teasing.
Spreading rumours or lies, or misrepresenting someone (i.e. using their Facebook account to post messages as if it were them)
Mucking about that goes too far
Harassing someone based on their race, sex, religion, gender or a disability
Intentionally and repeatedly hurting someone physically
Intentionally stalking someone
Taking advantage of any power over someone else like a Prefect or a Student Representative.
Harassment can be against the law when a person is treated less favourably on the basis of certain personal characteristics, such as race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, breastfeeding, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status. Some limited exemptions and exceptions apply.
Harassment can include behaviour such as:
telling insulting jokes about particular racial groups
sending explicit or sexually suggestive emails or text messages
displaying racially offensive or pornographic posters or screen savers
making derogatory comments or taunts about someone’s race
asking intrusive questions about someone’s personal life, including his or her sex life.
Stalking is defined under this law and includes:
‘the following of a person about or the watching or frequenting of the vicinity of, or an approach to a person’s place of residence, business or work or any place that a person frequents for the purposes of any social or leisure activity’.
The person being stalked may only realise they are being stalked once they identify a pattern of strange or suspicious incidents occurring, such as:
messages left on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter etc.
notes left on their car
strange or unwanted gifts left at their home
an awareness that they are being followed
being continually stared at or gestured to by another person.
Technology like the internet or mobile phones can be used to harass, intimidate or control you.
This may include:
harassing you or making threats on social media sites
posting (or threatening to post) embarrassing, fake or intimate videos, photos or comments about you
interfering with your computer
tracking what you do online.
Defamation is where a person or small business seeks damages for loss of reputation due to someone publishing or otherwise distributing defamatory material that causes others to think less of them. Defamatory material can take many forms including blogs, articles, novels, poems, photos, songs, emails, cartoons, drawings, paintings, online reviews, social media posts, and more.
Defamatory matter can also be broadcast or spoken (e.g., a person might be defamed on a radio show or in a public presentation). If you state or spread something defamatory in any public forum, including over the internet, you could be taken to court.
Defamation law is designed to protect all Australians from false or damaging statements being made about them that may cause harm to their personal or professional reputation. It enables those who have been defamed to seek compensation for financial and other losses resulting from a defamatory publication of any kind.
https://www.slatergordon.com.au/disputeresolution/defamation#:~:text=Defamation%20law%20is%20designed%20to%20protect%20 all%20Australians,resulting%20from%20a%20defamatory%20publication%20of%20any%20 kind
A disturbance could include:
assault or threat of assault
use of threatening or abusive language
behaviour that is uncontrolled, violent, disorderly, indecent, offensive or threatening
behaviour that causes a substantial, unreasonable annoyance or disruption
willful damage to property.
https://www.qld.gov.au/law/crime-and-police/register-or-report-to-police/report-a-crime-ordisturbance/report-a-nuisance-ordisturbance#:~:text=behaviour%20that%20is%20uncontrolled%2C%20violent%2C%20disor derly%2C%20indecent%2C%20offensive,property.%20How%20to%20report%20a%20nuisan ce%20or%20disturbance
Cruelty to animals
A person shall not commit an act of cruelty upon an animal.
A person in charge of an animal shall not authorise the commission of an act of cruelty upon the animal.
A person in charge of an animal shall not fail at any time—
to exercise reasonable care, control or supervision of an animal to prevent the commission of an act of cruelty upon the animal,
where pain is being inflicted upon the animal, to take such reasonable steps as are necessary to alleviate the pain, or
where it is necessary for the animal to be provided with veterinary treatment, whether or not over a period of time, to provide it with that treatment.
Tethering of animals
(1) A person shall not—
tether an animal, or
where the person is a person in charge of an animal—authorise the tethering of the animal,
for an unreasonable length of time or by means of an unreasonably heavy, or unreasonably short, tether.
Certain procedures not to be performed on animals
(1) A person shall not—
dock the tail of a horse, bull, ox, bullock, steer, cow, heifer, calf or dog,
crop the ears of a dog,
operate upon a dog for the purpose of preventing the dog from being able to bark, https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1979-200#sec.5
Provision of False or misleading information
307B False or misleading information (1) A person is guilty of an offence if--
the person does so knowing that the information--
is false or misleading, or
omits any matter or thing without which the information is misleading, and
(c) any of the following subparagraphs apply-- (i) the information is given to a public authority,
the information is given to a person who is exercising or performing any power, authority, duty or function under, or in connection with, a law of the State,
the information is given in compliance or purported compliance with a law of the State.