Need advice? Want to register your own rescue with HMRC? Thanks to a joint effort of just some of the many rescues we work with, and have taken advice from, we have produced a document that will hopefully make this information more accessible to you.
We are not a substitute for consulting with HMRC. Once registered please obtain your advice from them as every rescue will be different. Phoning them up prior to registration will only result in general, and sometimes vague, advice.
Of course, this is only our interpretation of the information we have been given. If you decide to seek advice elsewhere please only take advice from other charity's who are actually registered. There's a lot of misinformation out there.
Being a rescue is not an exclusive club, but remember that you are not just rescuing. You have to have higher ethics, to be able to best advise pet owners on both the basic care, ideal care and how to spoil their pets rotten. You have to let them choose, so only give out basic care advice that you are happy with.
Be warned that small animal rescues need to work together as its a tough job. If you choose less then acceptable standards of care you risk becoming isolated, making your job harder. As long as you have your animals interests at heart we are friendly bunch :) Do please ask if you have any questions or queries.
Lastly, if running your own rescue is not feasible for you right now please do take note of that. Small animal rescue is easily overwhelmed, there are usually a few a year in the press who have gone under...sometimes in a whirlwind of bad press. Other rescues then have to give space to those animals. Don't be one of these, ASK for help. There are always other ways in which you can help abandoned animals.
*Please note that this advice is only suitable for very small rescue's (less than £5000 a year) who are non trading i.e. are not required to fill in a tax return.
This is an issue we feel needs addressing. First and foremost, purchasing animals is not considered charitable and is not rescuing them. No matter what the conditions are, you have still bought an animal, not rescued it. More importantly, think hard about who you are giving money to. Someone who has neglected or been cruel to an animal should not be rewarded with cash, they should be prosecuted if possible. Too many people say they would not support a pet shop selling animals but then go immediately to places like gumtree and purchase pets on there. It's no different.
If you do decide to purchase animals from these sites, make sure you at least buy from a good breeder or answer an ad from a rescue.
Sometimes there is call to take an animal, and finding it in horrible conditions makes it too hard to walk away. Bear in mind this is you choice, once you have that animal it becomes your legal responsibility, so before you do please read the following advice:-
1. Always assume that a female animal could be pregnant. Research the gestation for that animal and look hard at whether you would be able to care for it during it's pregnancy and any litters it may have. Do you have space for boys and girls and can you sex them? If the answer to these is no, call a rescue to help.
2. Is the animal sick or in poor condition? Legally, if you take it you MUST treat it. Take it to a vet as soon as possible for a full check up and treat as appropriate or euthanise if this is appropriate. If you take and animal that you cannot afford to treat, you are in violation of the Animal Welfare Act and no better than the home you got it from. Think carefully about your funds and time, call in a rescue to help if needed.
3. Do you know the species you want to help? There is little point in taking in an animal that requires complex care if you don't know how to give that. The animal is likely stressed already and possibly sick etc. How will you know how old it might be, the signs of illness in that species, how to handle it, what cage it needs. So Research, research, research! And if you are not sure, contact a rescue for advice.
4. What do you plan to do with the animal once you have it? Do you want to keep it or rehome it? Can you keep it for the whole of it's life? Can you have it neutered if needed, or deal with any temperament issues it may have? What if you find you can't rehome it? Think carefully.
Lastly, if you believe a rescue may need to help an animal check BEFORE you obtain it. You may find out they have no space, or don't take that animal in.
When it's a breeder. There'll be a page on here soon that outlines breeding ethics. Scritches is not anti breeder if it's done appropriately.
What we find totally abhorrent is any rescue who breeds it's rescued animals and then rehomes those through the rescue in return for donations.
Please do not support anyone who does this, this is not rescue. It's obtaining free or cheap breeding animals and selling the babies they produce. It's getting free cages, toys and money that ACTUAL rescues need and then using them to condemn a stressed rescue animal to a life at stud for profit. It's taking up genuine rehoming spaces with badly bred animals and perpetuating genetic disease within a species.
These people are the lowest of the low. They often have the least amount of breeding ethics but are sadly often supported as rescues by people who do not understand what they are actually doing. Again, this is no better than supporting pet shops selling animals....in fact it is worse.
If you give your animal up please be careful as to where it goes! Not all rescues are real or genuine.
Please find this below and thank you again to Crittery Exotics, Starlight Trust Animal Rescue, Starfish Rat Rescue and Vectis Hamstery for their input and proof reading.
Setting up a Rescue.pdf
Use these as guides. Examples of Scritches forms are provided below along with the example constitution dated November 2012.
Our forms are meant as guides and yours should not contain any of our contact information or headers.