The following sections have information about the ways that the Animal Care Trust and The Royal Veterinary College can help you, as well as listing other organisations who are best placed to offer support in specific areas.

We have also produced some advice sheets which we hope will be of use. 

Referrals to the RVC

The Royal Veterinary College offers a world class referral and diagnostic service for both small animals, at the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA) and horses, at the Equine Referral Practice (ERH). Both hospitals are committed to achieving the highest standards of patient care and providing state of the art veterinary diagnostics and treatment. They aim to provide excellent communication with both clients and Referring Veterinary Surgeons.

Most of the cases are referred to the college’s hospitals via other vets, just as a GP might send a patient to a hospital for more specialist care. Your regular vet will be able to advise on the best course of action for any animal and if that means an operation or other type of specialist treatment, the animal may get referred to one of the Royal Veterinary College’s animal hospitals. Just as with humans, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) clinicians will be best placed to treat an animal if they have spoken with the animal’s regular veterinary surgeon and have the details of its medical history.

The exception to this is the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in Camden, North London, which is a regular first opinion small animal hospital and our QMHA Emergency and Critical Care Service in Hertfordshire operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For more information about referrals, or if you have an appointment at either hospital and would like to know more information, please visit the RVC's Veterinary Services webpage. Alternatively, please contact the QMHA on 01707 666366 or the ERH on 01707 666297.

Privacy Policy

The RVC Animal Care Trust Privacy Policy

The aim of this Policy is to clarify to our supporters exactly how we use information you supply to us and why we do this. We will always act in good faith with your data and we will never sell it to third parties. Anything we do with your data is to aid our communication with you, keep you informed about our activities and generally manage our relationship with you. If at any time you are unsure about how or why we are using your data please do not hesitate to get in touch with us so we can answer your query and ensure you are receiving the communications you want from us via your preferred means of communication.

What is the RVC ACT?

We are a registered charity (281571) created by a Trust Deed in 1982. Initially our main aim was to raise the funds needed to establish a new veterinary referral hospital (the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals) but we now raise funds for a wide range of projects carried out at the Royal Veterinary College. You will find further formal information about us on the Charity Commission website.

What information do we collect and why? We collect your contact information ‘personal data’ when it is provided by you in order to administer your relationship with us. This would mainly comprise your name, address, e-mail address and telephone number. In addition we may also record the following information in order to help tailor our communications with you:

If you have been a client in one of our hospitals:

  • Which species of animal you own
  • Which team you visited

If you have studied at the RVC:

  • Which course you studied
  • When you graduated
  • Where you work now (this information would come from you or from the RCVS Register)
  • Whether you have specialised in a certain field of veterinary medicine

Where do we get information from and how do we use it?

We get the majority of our information from you and where permitted to do so from other RVC databases (for example the Hospitals databases). For our alumni and veterinary professionals we also use the RCVS register to ensure our information about you is up to date.

We occasionally ‘cleanse’ and improve our data and this involves sending all data held by us to a third party supplier who checks it against publically available information for example addresses, listed Directorships or typical earnings in a given area. This means we will be notified if supporters have moved house (and they will send us a new address if possible) or if they have died. It also helps us to build a profile of our supporters which enables us to tailor our communications and allows us to target our resources effectively. The reason we do this is to keep down our mailing costs as much as possible by reducing the number of returns and to try and maintain our relationship with you. It also helps us to make appropriate requests to supporters who may be able and willing to give more than they already do.  

We only use trusted and carefully-selected third party suppliers who will do nothing with the data other than what we have asked them to do for the benefit of the charity.

Essentially we use all information provided by you to service and improve our relationship with you. This would include:

  • Administering donations and processing transactions
  • Fulfilling requests from you for information
  • Supporting you in your own fundraising
  • Recording our contacts with you
  • Fulfilling official process requirements eg Gift Aid claims

Storing information – how we keep it safe

All information held by the RVC Animal Care Trust is kept on a single database. This database can only be accessed by individuals who work for the RVC who have been specifically given an account and who have undertaken training on its use and RVC Data Protection policy. The database is password protected and each individual user will only have a level of access relevant to their individual role.

When information is transferred to third party suppliers (who may be based abroad) this is done via a secure process adhering to strict data protection laws and internal policies.

We may also have information stored in paper files. These are kept in lockable cupboards within the RVC Development Office offices which have limited access.

Your rights

The Data Protection Act gives you a number of rights in respect of the personal data that organisations hold about you. These are:

  • a right of access to a copy of the information comprised in your personal data
  • a right to object to processing that is likely to cause or is causing damage or distress
  • a right to prevent processing for direct marketing
  • a right to object to decisions being taken by automated means
  • a right in certain circumstances to have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed
  • a right to claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the Act.

If you wish to exercise any of these rights please contact the RVC’s Data Protection Officer in writing at RVC, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms AL9 7TA. It is our policy to charge a fee of £10 for a subject access request.

The RVC Animal Care Trust is not a ‘public authority’ as defined under the Freedom of Information Act and we will not therefore respond to requests for information made under this Act.

Contact us


Tel: 01707 666237

Address: RVC Animal Care Trust, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Herts AL7 4RL

Financial assistance

The Animal Care Trust understands how difficult it can be when your much loved pet is sick and in need of help, but you are struggling to afford the fees. The ACT does not provide financial assistance for veterinary treatments or training, but below we detail some organisations who may be able to help you.

The College's Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital is able to offer reduced fees for those on benefits/low incomes within the Camden area, thanks to kind support from the Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust. The Hospital also offers a discounted price for all neutering as our final year students participate in all neutering operations. Further support for neutering may be available for OAP’s, students and those on benefits/low incomes. 

The PDSA exists to care for the pets of people in need. They provide veterinary services to their sick and injured animals and promote responsible pet ownership. If you are struggling to pay for your pet's veterinary fees you can contact the PDSA on 0800 731 2502.

Lost and found animals

The Royal Veterinary College and the Animal Care Trust are not able to take in lost or found animals, although the College's clinicians do work closely with other organisations, such as the Dogs Trust, to treat any stray animals who are sick or injured. There are lots of organisations that are able to help you if you have lost or found an animal and we have listed them, along with advice about what to do for your information.

If you have lost your dog, it is important that within seven days you contact your local dog warden, unfortunately these wardens do not often deal with lost cats. If you have found a dog without its owner, you should return it to the owner, if known, or contact your Local Authority to report the animal.Your local council website should give you the details for your local warden or details of dog wardens in the vicinity of the RVC's Hertfordshire campus can be found below.

If your animal is missing you should also contact your local vets, local animal rescue charities and other neighbouring Local Authorities who may have picked up your animal. The closest animal shelter to the College's Hawkshead campus is the RSPCA Southridge, their number is 0300 123 0704. Other shelters can be found on the RSPCA website.

Battersea Dogs and Cats home also runs a Lost Dogs & Cats Line, open from Monday to Sunday 8am to 8pm. This is a dedicated service for owners that have lost or found a dog or cat within the M25 area. Please call them on 020 7627 9245. They will then search their database for any dogs or cats that have been reported missing in the same area.  If they have a match, they will let you know straight away and will contact the owner for you.

Contact numbers for dog wardens 

  • Dacorum dog warden 01442 228418
  • Three Rivers dog warden 01923 776611 
  • Watford dog warden 01923 278503 
  • St Albans dog warden 01727 819371 
  • Hertsmere dog warden 02082 072277 
  • Welwyn And Hatfield dog warden 01707 357000 
  • Broxbourne dog warden 01992 642240 
  • East Herts dog warden 01279 655261 
  • North Herts dog warden 01462 474000 
  • Stevenage dog warden 01438 242916 / 242908

Injured or distressed animals

The Royal Veterinary College and the Animal Care Trust are not able to take in injured or distressed animals. The College’s clinicians work closely with other organisations, such as the Dogs Trust, to treat stray animals who are sick, injured or have been the victims of animal cruelty. 

There are lots of organisations that are able to help you if you have found an injured animal or suspect an animal is being mistreated. We have given details of just some of these below but please do check in your local area as well.

Injured animals and animal cruelty - RSPCA

If you find an injured animal or bird, then please report it to the RSPCA's 24-hour national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999. You will need to provide details of the animal and its precise location. You can also refer to the RSPCA's website which gives advice on a wide range of subjects.

Where possible and safe to do so, confine the animal and/or stay with it, keeping it quiet, still and warm. DO NOT attempt to feed or give water to any injured animals.

RSPB - advice about sick and injured birds

Please note that the RSPB does not run bird hospitals or a rescue service. However the RSPB website provides information and advice about what to do if you find an injured or baby bird in distress.

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