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Privacy Policy


Blue Cross (the “Charity”) is a charity that has been helping sick, injured and homeless pets since 1897 registered in England and Wales (224392) and in Scotland (SC040154) and a private company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company number 00363197. Blue Cross Trading Company Limited (Registered Company Number 2203092) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Charity and which trades only to raise money for the Charity’s objectives. Within the context of this policy “we” means both the Charity and the Trading Company. For the purpose of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 whichever may be in force (“the Act”) each of these organisations are data controllers. The registered address for the Charity and the Trading Company is Shilton Road, Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4PF

Contact us

To contact us, please write to Customer Services at Blue Cross, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxfordshire OX18 4PF or email [email protected] or phone us on 0300 790 9903. 

Your Preferences

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. If you have any queries about this Policy or how we use your personal information, please contact us using the details at Contact Us.

This policy (together with any other documents referred to in it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us will be processed by us.  Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it. By visiting you are accepting and consenting to the practices described in this policy.

Our nominated person for data protection is the Data Protection Officer who can be contacted by email [email protected] or by writing to the Data Protection Officer, Blue Cross. Shilton Road, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4PF.

Legal Basis for Processing

In most situations we require your consent to use your information for certain purposes and we will process your personal data in accordance with the purpose it was provided and in accordance with the provisions of this Privacy Policy, in particular:

  • You consent to us contacting you by email and by phone for marketing and fundraising purposes in accordance with Your Preferences.

In certain instances we collect and use your personal information by relying on the legitimate interest grounds under the Act. This is where you request to receive goods or access services from the Charity or donate to us and we have a legitimate interest to use your personal information to respond to you in relation to this purpose and there is no overriding prejudice to you by us using your personal information in this way. We may also contact you by post to provide information about the Charity and ways in which you can help us except where you tell us that you do not want us to, which you can do at any time by contacting us at Contact Us.

How do we collect information?

We collect personal information about you directly; when you make a donation to us, purchase goods or services, register for an event, register to volunteer with us, apply for a vacancy, enquire about our activities, request pet care advice, receive veterinary treatment for your pet, register with us, send or receive an email, ask a question or otherwise provide us with personal information as well as indirectly for example when you use our website, engage with our social media or message boards.

We sometimes capture information about the sorts of things you like when you fill in a form and submit it to us on our website. Wherever possible we use aggregated or anonymous information which does not identify individual visitors to our website.

We may also receive information about you from third parties such as vet practices and other animal welfare organisations with whom we work to rehome pets, volunteer referral agencies, list broker agencies which may include information such as your name, postal address, email address, phone number.

Profiling and data analysis

It is always our intention to communicate with our supporters in the most appropriate way we can. Our supporters make all of our vital work for pets in need possible, especially as we receive no government funding.

Sometimes we, or a company working on our behalf, analyses the information we keep about our supporters, including their transactional information and what they have responded to in the past. We do this because it allows us to understand which of our supporters are likely to respond based on their previous actions and this helps us to ensure communications are relevant and timely, providing an improved experience for our supporters. This also enables us to make more appropriate requests for support in the future and to be more cost effective in our fundraising effort.

We may undertake profiling which means that we gather information that helps us better understand our supporters. We may analyse geographic, demographic and other information relating to an individual to better understand their interests and preferences. In doing this, an individual’s data may be enhanced using additional information from third parties or public sources. For example, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, age, gender, listed Directorships or average earnings. Looking at information in this way also allows us to identify potential new supporters and also to better understand our existing supporters and their likelihood to support us in future.

We take our responsibility to raise as much money for pets in need as seriously as we possibly can. We always strive to do this in the best way and regularly review how we communicate with you.

What information do we collect?

We collect personal data as defined by the Act. The personal information we collect might include name, date of birth, email address, postal address, and telephone number and sometimes, if relevant, the personal circumstances around giving up a pet. We record your requests for information and any feedback we receive from you. We may record telephone calls and emails for quality assurance purposes. We may also collect technical information relating to your use of our website, including your browser type or the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to connect your computer to the internet.

We want to ensure that your personal information is accurate and up to date. If any of the information that you have provided us with changes, for example if you change your email address, name, payment details, or if you wish to cancel your registration, please let us know by going to Contact Us.

We like other organisations also gather general information about the use of our website, such as which pages users visit most often and which services, events or facilities are of most interest. We may also track which pages users visit when they click on links in emails. We may use this information to personalise the way our website is presented when users visit, to better understand what you are interested in and likely to respond to and to make improvements to our website and to ensure we provide the best service for users.

We do not usually collect “sensitive personal data” about our supporters, clients or volunteers  unless there is a clear reason for doing so which we will provide at the time of collecting this data, such as health data for participation in a marathon or similar fundraising event or challenge or where you’d like to volunteer for us. In addition it may be necessary to record (where we have been formally notified) of a health issue where we have a valid legal reason to do so. We need this information to ensure that we provide appropriate facilities or support.

How do we use this information?

We will use your personal information for a number of purposes including the following and always in accordance with our Supporter Charter we also have a Young and Vulnerable Persons policy.

We don’t sell or share personal data with third parties for the purposes of marketing, however if we run an event in partnership with another named organisation your details may need to be shared. We will be clear what will happen to your data when you register.

Some of the ways we may use your personal information are as follows:-

  • to promote the aims of the Charity;
  • to provide you with services, products or information you have requested or which we feel may be of interest to you (by post, text, email or by phone) where you have consented to being contacted or it is within our legitimate interests to contact you, where no overriding prejudice exists to you;
  • to provide you with information about our work, activities, future events and products and services we think may be of interest to you, including third party events, products and services;
  •  to notify you about changes to our services; as part of our efforts to keep our site safe and secure; and to ensure that content from our site is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer;
  • to process donations generously received from you;
  • to process gift aid declarations;
  • to fundraise within the permissions and preferences indicated by yourself;
  • to fulfil and process sales of goods through our trading subsidiary and shops and to share your information with  our online shop and fulfilment provider to enable us to fulfil your order
  • to ensure all internal administrative functions are carried out in accordance with current legislation;
  • for internal record keeping, including the management of any feedback or complaints;
  • to offer you a suitable volunteering role and support you whilst you volunteer with us;
  • to invite you to participate in surveys or research (entirely voluntary);
  • where relevant to analyse and improve our services offered on our sites to make it as user friendly as possible;
  • where it is required or authorised by law ie we may need to comply with requests by law enforcement agencies to provider personal data for the prevention and detection of crime;
  • to keep records of clients of our Animal Hospitals or who are provided with Blue Cross veterinary grants;
  • to enable us (where required) to visit Blue Cross rehomed pets to check on their welfare;
  • to enable us to enquire about pet’s that we have rehomed and provide guidance and support where required.

We will only use your personal information for electronic marketing purposes if we are allowed to do this by law, if we have your consent.  If you agree to us providing you with marketing information, you can always opt out at a later date.  If you would rather not receive marketing material from us, please let us know at any time via  Contact Us or by updating your preferences. Where you are a Client of one of our Animal Hospitals or in receipt of a Vet Grant then we may send you service communications via email or text for example to remind you of an appointment or provide health updates relevant to your pet in order to promote good animal welfare.

If you have provided us with your postal address we may write to you about our work or important information about your role if you are a volunteer, unless you tell us that you would prefer not to hear from us in this way. We will contact you by email and telephone where you have consented for us to do so.

It’s your choice as to whether you want to receive information about our work, how we raise funds and other ways you can help or get involved. You may opt out of email marketing at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in an email or marketing texts by sending us an opt-out text message by following the instructions provided in the initial text.

You can also change your preferences at any time by writing, emailing or phoning us at Contact Us. We will correct any inaccuracies which you tell us about.

We will not use your information for marketing purposes if you have indicated that you do not wish to be contacted for such purposes. We will retain your details on a suppression list to help ensure that we do not continue to contact you.

We may analyse the personal information we collect to create a profile of your interests and preferences so that we can contact you in the most appropriate way and with the most relevant information.  If you enter your personal details in one of our online forms, we may use this information to contact you even if you do not "send" or "submit" the form. We will only do this to see if we can help with any problems you might be experiencing with the form or with our website.

Do we share your information with anyone else?

The Charity may share your personal information with its trading subsidiary, suppliers or service providers such as Veterinary Practices to provide the products or services you’ve requested or require from us to the extent necessary, for example we use a separate company to fulfil orders from our online shop and Blue Cross catalogue or to send appointment reminders for our hospital clients.

The Charity may share your information with our data processors as well as trusted partners that work with us in connection with our charitable purposes and other entities that act as fundraisers for the Charity, sell Charity products or who provide Charity marketing (subject to your preferences). We require these third parties to comply strictly with our instructions and data protection laws and we will make sure that appropriate controls are in place.

If you make a payment or donation to us we will need to share your information with our payment processor. By paying via our payment processor you agree to accept their terms and conditions for the use of their services, including their privacy policy. We suggest that you read their privacy policy when using their service as we are not responsible for data you share with them.

Our site may, from time to time, contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks, advertisers and affiliates.  If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies.  Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

How do we protect personal information?

We sometimes use external companies to process donations on our behalf.  We undertake checks on these companies, and put a contract in place that sets out our expectations and requirements, especially regarding how they manage the personal data they collect or have access to.  If you use your credit or debit card to donate to us or buy something online, over the phone or via the post, we will ensure that this is done securely and in accordance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.  We do not store your credit or debit card details.  Following the completion of your transaction, all card details and validation codes are securely destroyed once the payment or donation has been processed.  Only staff authorised and trained to process payments will be able to see your card details.

We take appropriate measures to ensure that the information disclosed to us is kept secure, accurate and up to date and kept only for so long as is necessary for the purposes for which it is used. However, you should be aware that the use of the Internet is not entirely secure and although we will do our best to protect your personal data we cannot guarantee the security or integrity of any personal information which is transferred from you or to you via the Internet. Any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features such as encryption to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Your Rights

Under the Act you have the right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you called a Subject Access Request. If you wish to make a Subject Access Request please write to the Data Protection Officer at Blue Cross, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4PF. Please note that we require information on what you want to see as well as proof of your identity so Subject Access Requests must be made by post with the relevant supporting information. If you have any questions please send these to [email protected]  and for further information see Information Commissioner’s guidance

You may ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate, and you may also ask us to remove information which is inaccurate. Where you inform us of this, we will correct our records accordingly. You have a right to prevent us from processing your data for the purposes of marketing. If you would like us to stop using your personal data for this purpose, or if you would like to exercise any of your rights please let us know at Contact Us. We will act in accordance with your instructions as soon as reasonably possible.

You have the right to refer a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) who can be contacted

Where we may store your information

Your information will be held on central databases, computer files, in email records, in SMS messages or as paper records.

If for financial or technical reasons we need to use a supplier outside of the European Economic Area (“EEA”) we will take steps to put in place suitable safeguards to protect your personal data.

Children’s data

We are committed to protecting the privacy of the young people that volunteer with us, fundraise for us, attend events organised by us and at schools or engage on our website. Where necessary we will obtain the consent of a parent or guardian in order to collect and use personal data of children.

If you are a child and would like to get involved, please ensure that we have the consent from a parent or guardian before providing your personal information to us.


We will retain your personal data in line with our records retention schedule unless a valid business reason exists which means we need to retain personal data for longer.

Website Users plus inappropriate website content

If you post or send any content that we believe to be inappropriate, offensive or in breach of any laws, make defamatory statements on our forums or social media pages, we may use your personal information to inform relevant third parties such as your internet provider or law enforcement agencies.


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Changes to this policy

Any changes we may make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page. Please check back frequently to see any updates or changes to our privacy policy. By continuing to use our website you will be deemed to have accepted such changes.

This Privacy Policy was last amended in August 2017.

— Page last updated 8/09/2017