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The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) is launching a three-year strategy to raise the standards of animal welfare in rescues across the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Speaking today at the ADCH Annual Conference in Birmingham, Claire Horton – ADCH Chairman and Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home – said, “The members of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes are all working together seeking to give every lost, abandoned, and unwanted dog and cat the care it deserves and the chance of a happy life. By collaborating and sharing our knowledge we can improve welfare standards across our sector, and also offer a strong, clear voice for the welfare of dogs and cats, speaking out to help inform the public on responsible ownership, as well as the joy, comfort and well-being dogs and cats bring.”

Rescue and rehoming organisations will now be supported by the ADCH to comply with a new Code of Practice, which ADCH believes is the first essential step towards it becoming a regulatory body for companion animal welfare. The code covers everything from how to manage a well-run rescue centre, to infection control, vaccinations, training, and how to rehome dogs and cats responsibly. A traffic-light assessment tool will allow organisations to know easily how they measure up to the standards in each area, and where improvement may be needed.

“One of the key challenges facing rescue and rehoming centres is how we manage the increasing demand for our services whilst maintaining the highest possible welfare standards for the animals in our care,” Claire added. “The ADCH will provide our members with advice, support, access to information and training to help them be an invaluable part of their local communities.”

Image by ADCH.

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