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Canine Society Rescue Insurance

Showsurance has seen a sudden rise in questions about a society's third-party public liability (TPPL) when dogs are occasionally taken in by members and re-homed under the auspices of the club.

As far as Showsurance is concerned, a club would not normally need separate insurance unless its rescue activity was 'significant'. If this is the case, a separate organisation with its own constitution and committee such as an unincorporated organisation (which most canine societies are), a company limited by guarantee or charity should be set up, such as those for German Shepherds, Border Collies, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and some others.  They may be supported or sponsored by a breed club or clubs but should be independent. It would need its own TPPL  cover.

'Showsurance covers occasional' rescue activity, but we suggest that clubs should have something in its rules which refers to 'occasional rescue activity'.  For instance:


'The committee may authorise, provide documentation and pay the costs of the taking in of a (insert breed) by a club member, with a view to assessing it, submitting it for a veterinary check, and rehoming it.'

The singular ensures that the activity is 'limited' so would remain within the cover provided.

Societies should have some simple documents in place which set out the conditions for acceptance of a rescue dog and for the owners of a dog rescued.  Showsurance can provide suitable documents if requested.

These terms refer only to Showsurance:  other insurance providers may have different arrangements.

If the activity becomes more than 'occasional', it would be sensible to have a separate organisation that would need its own Third Party Liability Insurance, the costs of which would depend on the extent of the activity, the premises used, and its ownership, volunteers or employees. Showsurance can provide such cover through its brokers.

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