Adrian Burder, formerly CEO of Dogs Trust

Adrian Burder, formerly CEO of Dogs Trust, died suddenly on 31 October 2018 at the age of 53. The advertisement for his job is headed, ‘Dogs seeking their special someone’. Adrian was indeed a very special person.

Adrian joined the charity, then known as the National Canine Defence League, in 1994. Under his finance and marketing lead he helped to transform it from a relatively small outfit that raised c £1M a year to a hugely significant player in the animal welfare world, under its modern name of DogsTrust (DT), raising £100M a year.

Adrian and K9

Dogs Trust and SNIP International

At the retirement party for Clarissa Baldwin, CBE, former CEO of Dogs Trust, she quipped that she did not expect Adrian to be making a lot of changes to the organisation. Adrian was quick to respond that he expected to make his own mark. Both of them were right, of course. Adrian continued to develop the innovations he and Clarissa had worked closely on together and introduced his own projects. At the time of his death the number of dogs cared for by the charity had doubled to 15,000, while the number of stray and abandoned dogs in Britain had halved. He is credited with redeveloping the 21 rehoming centres to give the dogs more comfortable lives and with being the driving force behind the introduction of mandatory microchipping in 2016. He also introduced the ‘Dog School’ which offers training and behaviour classes to c10,000 dogs a year and helped to establish the ‘Sponsor a Dog’ campaign for dogs considered unsuitable for rehoming.

SNIP International has had the good fortune to work closely with DT, mainly through Clarissa becoming a Trustee and Director of the Board of Management of SNIPi and Adrian’s having continued the close liaison.

At a practical level, the board meetings and special functions have been hosted by the DT headquarters in Islington. DT’s training courses for delegates from overseas animal welfare groups, held twice a year, have provided a mechanism for SNIPi to offer specialist equipment like trap-transfer-restrainers and gloves for delegates to take home with them. DT’s International Companion Animal Welfare Conference, ICAWC, held in European cities have enabled SNIPi to hand out £4K worth of specialist equipment to the 200-300 delegates from all over the world once a year. Both these outlets have allowed SNIPi to focus on the most progressive overseas animal welfare groups whilst reducing the otherwise heavy transport costs.

I’d like to end the tribute on a personal note. Whether it was giving professional advice on the review of the SNIPi flyer or offering introductions over a drink at the conferences Adrian was invariably generous, with his own gentle, accessible, humorous style. He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues and by the animal welfare community across the world.


Kate Horne, former Chairman, SNIP International

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