Since the millennium, a consensus has been building amongst a number of vets working in the major animal welfare charities and in some universities that it would be desirable to form an Association of Charity Vets (ACV). In 2010, an ad hoc committee was formed and in the ensuing years the ACV was born! The ACV is affiliated with BSAVA and has a volunteer committee of 11 people.
The animal charity sector in the UK is large and many veterinary professionals in the UK apply the principles of shelter medicine their daily work. This type of work has its own contexts and challenges, so the ACV aims to provide a voice and a support network for veterinary professionals working this area. This includes those working for a charity, those in private practice providing services or advice for a charity, those dealing with cases where the funding does not come entirely from the owner, and those carrying out research into issues faced by the sector.
With our collective power, we can work together to generate and implement evidence-based (shelter) medicine, share information and skills, encourage and facilitate Continuing Professional Development, encourage a critical, pragmatic and ethical approach to decision making, lobby decision makers, and represent the views of colleagues working in this sector to the wider veterinary profession, government and public. Ultimately, it is hoped that the ACV will be a driving force in shelter and charity practice becoming recognised as a distinct speciality in the UK. If you would like to read our constitution you can find that here.
We have a subgroup of Shelter Medicine Educators, comprising of vets and nurses from national and international veterinary schools, who work in a shelter environment and are involved in teaching. This subgroup meets regularly to share ideas, pool resources and collaborate on a variety of issues. If you are interested in being involved please fill out our Contact Us form and we will be in touch.
The Association of Charity Vets will provide a contact point for those working within the field to share ideas and experience, and ultimately lead to the development of more recognition and understanding of the special challenges of working within the charity sector.
Our mission is to work together through education and research to promote and support the development of charity and shelter medicine.
Our vision is to ensure veterinary professionals are able to optimise the physical and mental health and welfare of animals in the charity and shelter setting through evidence-based, ethical and pragmatic decision-making.