Code of practice for animal rescue organizations

Code of Practice published by Association of British Dogs’ Homes

source: Veterinary Record vol 143 no 18, October 31 1998 p489

A code of practice has been published by the Association of British Dogs’ Homes (ABDH), and it aims to improve care standards for cats, as well as dogs in rescue centres. There are 16 members of the ABDH, which include the Blue Cross, Cats Protection League, National Canine Defence League, and RSPCA.

Minimum standards for cleanliness, heating, and housing are set out in the code, which focuses especially on disease control and veterinary care. A veterinary surgeon should be appointed to deal with disease prevention and general care. The code also calls for rescue organizations to avoid destroying healthy animals, and for vets to be involved in euthanasia, with control over the disposal of carcases.

There are specific guidelines covering transport, feeding and keeping records. Behavioural programmes are recommended for cats and dogs, as well as free running every day, to help with socialisation and encourage play. The need to ensure that new owners and rescue pets are well matched is also stressed.

People considering setting up new animal charities are encouraged to think of setting up links with existing charities instead.

The code can be obtained by contacting the ABDH through Battersea Dogs’ Home, 4 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4AA.