Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ADCH set up to do? The ADCH is a membership organisation that promotes best practice in animal welfare and rehoming for dogs and cats. Our goal is to help all members work for the benefit of the animals in their care, through education, networking and establishing and sharing best practice.

How can my organisation join? Please visit the “Become a member” section of the ADCH website and simply follow the instructions. The Memberships Officer, Clare Radlett ( will be happy to assist you with the application process and answer any questions you may have.

How can I join the Board of Trustees? Trustees give up their time to oversee the operation of the Association. They are elected by the membership and serve for an initial three-year term. The Committee also appoints officers and co-opts up to three further members each year. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to speak to our Chairman, Claire Horton, or an existing Board member.

What are the benefits of membership? Membership of ADCH gives you the opportunity to benefit from the shared experience, knowledge and practical advice of 140 rescue and rehoming organisations. We provide regular meetings and conferences providing opportunities to network and hear from expert speakers on a range of relevant subjects. We also run an online forum and members can benefit from a range of exclusive product discounts and opportunities to apply for grants towards capital projects.

Why should I stay as a member? With the changes that are envisaged, there is no better time to be a member. Never before has our sector had such a strong and united voice from those in the field and experiencing the same challenges on a daily basis. Our Conference and Open Meetings are more popular than ever and are designed to deliver great educational and networking opportunities. We are working hard to secure new benefits for members and we are taking on board lots of new ideas and feedback we have received. Together we are stronger.

I don’t have a lot of spare money to spend on memberships, where is the value? We understand that many members are under financial pressure. Our aim is to ensure that the knowledge, discounts and other benefits you will receive far outweigh the modest membership fee.

Are you going to change the meetings? We want meetings to be accessible, inclusive, informative, relevant and enjoyable. We received many responses to the recent members’ survey and based on these, will propose some changes to the membership this year.

What is the ADCH Code of Practice? The Code of Practice is a set of standards and was agreed by the membership and published in 2015. For the first time, it set out welfare and operational best practice applicable to dog and cat rescue and rehoming organisations across the British Isles. The Code of Practice has since been superseded by the Minimum Welfare & Operational Standards.

Why have we developed the Minimum Welfare & Operational Standards? Through the promotion and implementation of the Minimum Standards, ADCH and its members can help raise standards across the animal rehoming sector. To the wider public, Government, veterinary profession and other key influencers, the Minimum Standards reinforce a professional credibility and confidence in ADCH members and what they do individually and collectively.

How will the Minimum Welfare & Operational Standards help me? If you work to the Minimum Standards, you and the public can be confident and reassured that you are a responsible rehoming organisation that is delivering excellent welfare standards to the animals in your care. The Minimum Standards therefore provide a framework for ADCH members to consider what they do now and the potential areas for development and improvement. 

How will ADCH help me reach the requirements of the Minimum Welfare & Operational Standards? Firstly, we want to provide the tools to enable you to assess your existing compliance with the Minimum Standards. Secondly, we want to help you address those areas where you may not yet reach the requirements. This help could include the opportunity to benefit from other members’ knowledge and experience via the online Forum or at Open Meetings, and the chance to apply for grants towards specific projects.

I don’t currently meet the Minimum Welfare & Operational Standards, will I have to leave ADCH? No. We recognise that at the moment some existing members are not fully compliant with the Minimum Standards. We recognise too that many members have limited budgets with which to make facility improvements. The ambition of ADCH is to bring people in and not to isolate them. We are committed to developing initiatives that in the coming months and years will help members work towards compliance with the requirements of the Minimum Standards.

What happens if members don’t meet the Minimum Welfare & Operational Standards longer term? We want all members to work towards full compliance but recognise that the journey will be longer for some than others. The ADCH will provide help and support. Ultimately, if a member does not agree with the spirit of the Minimum Standards and does not wish to work towards full compliance, it will be difficult for that member to remain involved with the ADCH.

How will members be kept informed of the progress of all the plans? Members will continue to be updated at every Open Meeting, via the website, the Forum and regular emails from the Secretary, The Association Manager and Webmaster. There is lots going on and we are committed to keeping members updated and inviting questions and feedback. If you do not currently receive emails from ADCH, please email and we will check that we have your correct email address on our database – we don’t want you to miss out on any news.

How can I get more information? Please contact the Association Manager –