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ADCH Membership

ADCH Membership

One of the most important attributes of ADCH is the link Members have with each other. We really do live by our values of Leadership, Collaboration, Integrity, Professionalism and Support every day. There is no sense of hierarchy or divide; we do not segregate the large from the small, the paid staff from the volunteers. We are all like-minded, dedicated and passionate colleagues working together in the hard and challenging world of animal welfare.

We are open for Full Membership applications at 4 periods in the year. The opening periods for 2024 will be:

  • From Monday 12 February to Sunday 3 March
  • From Monday 20 May to Sunday 9 June
  • From Monday 12 August to Sunday 1 September
  • From Monday 11 November to Sunday 1 December
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Apply for Membership!

There are many benefits to becoming a Member of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes.  Including: -
  • Ability to display the ADCH Member logo to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to best practice.
  • Access to the ADCH Member networking group, where you can interact and gain practical support and advice from the collective experience of ADCH Members.
  • Access to our Member-only website resources.
  • Exclusive offers and discounts from our Corporate Sponsors.
  • Notification of funding opportunities.
  • Free promotion of your job and volunteer opportunities.
  • Networking at social events including Open Meetings and Workshops.
  • Regular Member Bulletin to keep you up-to-date with what’s going on within the sector.
  • Opportunity to help influence policy and campaigns.
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Membership Criteria - Full Membership

Full Members

Full Membership is available to registered charities with an appropriate and relevant status and objectives in their country of origin in the UK or Ireland. All Full Members undertake rescue and / or rehoming in the UK and / or Ireland and may, in addition, import. Full Members have the right to vote. They must meet the following criteria: –

  • Registered charity and working in the British Isles and/or Republic of Ireland
  • Directly involved in and carrying out the rescue and/or rehoming of dogs and/or cats.
  • Have read, understood and consider the rescue compliant with the Association’s published Minimum Welfare and Operational Standards. Be ready for an external assessment by ADCH to confirm compliance before admittance to the Association.
  • Comply with all current animal welfare related legislation in the jurisdiction within which they operate
  • Operate on a non-commercial basis.
  • Only import dogs or cats from other territories:
    • If these have been legally imported in a manner that meets all applicable transport and health requirements; and
    • have had the relevant vaccinations (including those not necessarily mandatory by the exporting or importing country);
    • and the organisation ensures all dogs are behaviourally assessed and documented as suitable and safe to rehome to a British Isles environment prior to transport; and
    • has a plan in place in case the rehoming of an animal is not successful.
    • Not involved in any importation that does not meet the above criteria.
  • Sympathetic to and compatible with the values of ADCH.
  • Declare that they are not aware of any Trustees or Senior Staff Members with any previous convictions for animal welfare offences.

Membership Criteria - Affiliate Membership

Affiliate Members

Affiliate Membership is intended for not-for-profit organisations and individuals who are actively supporting (but not directly involved) in the dog and cat rescue and/or rehoming sector. This includes FE/HE/educational establishments and other animal welfare/industry organisations who do not rehome animals.

Individuals who are also actively supportive of the dog and cat rescue and/or rehoming sector may also become Affiliate Members by special appointment. It is envisaged that the individual affiliates will be people with an active involvement with the sector who will add value bringing their experience to the Association’s deliberations.

All Affiliate Members must:

  • Registered and working (organisations) or resident (individuals) in the UK and/or Republic of Ireland
  • Actively supportive of the rescue and/or rehoming of dogs and/or cats. Must not be involved in any activity that is in conflict with the stated aims and values of the ADCH.
  • Comply with all current animal welfare related legislation in the jurisdiction within which they operate (organisations) or reside (individuals)
  • Organisations must operate on a non-commercial basis
  • Not be directly involved in animal importation
  • Sympathetic to and compatible with the values of ADCH.

Application Process:

Submitting an Application

We are open for Full Membership applications at 4 periods in the year. The remaining opening periods for 2024 are:

  • From Monday 12 August to Sunday 1 September
  • From Monday 11 November to Sunday 1 December

Prior to Submitting an Application

Before applying for Membership please ensure that you have:

  1. Checked the Membership Categories and Criteria (see above).
  2. Read the Minimum Welfare Operational Standards. It is important that you understand these in the light of your work and that you consider whether your rescue is complaint with each standard. As part of your application you will be asked who in your organisation has evaluated your rescue against the Minimum Standards. This exercise may take an hour or two by someone with detailed knowledge of your operations. You will be asked to state the names of your people who have undertaken this exercise. It is not uncommon for applicants to be uncertain about aspects of this and they should keep a record of areas of possible non-compliance to discuss with ADCH appointed assessors.
  3. The following supporting information: –
    • A copy of the organisation’s constitution
    • Two years of accounts. Where accounts are not available (i.e. for newly formed organisations), recent bank statements for all bank accounts should be submitted.
    • Contact details of two existing Members who can endorse your application.  If you are unable to find two suitable ADCH Members, please provide details of two referees who can vouch for your operational welfare standards (i.e. veterinary practice or local authority).  For veterinary practices, the person giving the reference must be a qualified veterinary surgeon.  Please seek permission from your referee before sharing their contact details with us.
    • You can find a list of all the possible questions that may be asked during your application below, which may help you gather your figures and information ready to apply.

Adch Application Form Questions (1200 × 628px) (1920 × 1080px) (1920 × 680px) (1920 × 380px) (1920 × 180px)

    • Please note that from 20 May 2024, a £100 non-refundable application fee will apply for membership applications (and re-applications from previous members).

Assessment (Full Members Only)

We will review your application, and if initial approval is granted by the Trustee Board: –

  • An ADCH Assessor will be assigned to carry out an assessment against the Minimum Welfare and Operational Standards. The role profile of our Assessors can be found here
  • The ADCH Assessor will contact you to arrange a mutually convenient time and date to carry out the assessment.

Post Assessment

  • The ADCH Assessor will go through the result of the assessment with you and a report and recommendation will be submitted to the Standards & Animal Welfare Committee (SAWC).
  • SAWC will consider the Assessor’s report and make a decision whether to approve your membership.

Approval of Membership

  • We will advise of the decision made by SAWC and provide any feedback. If your application has been approved, we will issue an invoice for the membership fee.
  • When payment has been received, we will issue your Welcome Pack and Membership Certificate.
  • If your application has been declined you will be provided with feedback and details of our appeals process.

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Membership Fees:

Membership is affordable and offers tremendous value. Over 150 organisations have already taken advantage of the benefits that being part of ADCH brings.

Membership fees are on a sliding scale based on your income as submitted to the Charity Commission.

You can find a table of fees in our Membership Information pack.

Current Members

A full list of members can be found here.

You can also use our Rescue Search to find a Member near you.