Become a Partner

The process of joining and maintaining Partner status is designed to aid assessment but also to gather important information on knowledge and practice to help build and contribute to a sector-specific information platform. The information submitted as part of the application and to maintain Partner status makes an important contribution to this specialized information platform and community of practice.

Before submitting an application to become a Partner of EARS, potential applicants should read our guidelines carefully. It is highly recommended to discuss the application with EARS prior to submission. For more information, and a copy of the guidelines please contact us.

Why join EARS?
  1. Receive support and recognition in striving to meet standards of excellence in animal care, rehabilitation and management.
  2. Belong to a network of like-minded wildlife rescue centres and sanctuaries aspiring to be the best at what they do.
  3. Gain access to unique forums to exchange expertise and experience.
  4. Benefit from opportunities to publicise your facility and its successes to an international audience.
  5. Gain access to resources to support capacity development and operational sustainability.
  6. Receive representation by the EARS at important regional and international meetings.
  7. Receive notifications of relevant conferences and meetings, training and funding opportunities, publications, activities and news.
  8. Become a member of the EARS Partner Council and actively contribute to the direction and activities of the organisation.
  9. Work collectively to increase impact to end the very need for animal rescue and sanctuary.
Please take a look at our new PDF that brings the benefits of joining EARS to life: Be part of something bigger.

Criteria for joining EARS

Applicants will need to provide evidence of the following:

  1. Operate a rescue and rehabilitation centre and/or a sanctuary in Europe.
  2. Is a legal entity with the necessary national licence and/or permits.
  3. Strive to provide humane and responsible care. The outcome of this should stimulate and support: Expression of natural species-specific behaviour (physical, social and psychological):Partners should strive to provide all species and individuals with a suitable environment that allows the expression of a natural repertoire of physical and social activity and behaviour, and supports psychological well-being. Good physical health: Partners should provide a management system, including professional veterinary care and quarantine (or isolation facilities as appropriate), environment and healthcare regimes that support animals to maintain an appropriate weight and body condition for the species and individual; be free of pain, injury and disease; and display an appropriate degree of physical mobility and flexibility. This requires Partners to keep up-to-date with and apply best practice in rehabilitation and captive care according to current scientific knowledge and practice.
  4. Do not buy, sell, or trade animals.
  5. Work to ensure intake and outplacement helps to reduce the reasons that cause animals to need rescue, rehabilitation and sanctuary, and not increase it.
  6. Work to prevent the need for sanctuaries and rescue centres, e.g. through education and involvement in conservation issues.
  7. Allow the public to visit only for education purposes and in compliance with the EARS visitor policy and restrict physical contact between the public and animals.
  8. Do not conduct research if it compromises animal welfare and/or conservation.
  9. Use appropriate measures to prevent propagation including species appropriate contraceptive programmes (see also our EARS Breeding Policy).
  10. Conduct euthanasia only for terminally ill, critically injured, or severely psychologically and behaviourally impaired individuals, for whom there is no reasonable recovery and quality of life. This should be determined by a multi-disciplinary team, including a qualified vet and behavioural specialist, taking into consideration physical and psychological impacts.
  11. Consult and follow taxon/species appropriate guidelines for rehabilitation and reintroduction practice.
  12. Actively engage with the alliance and work in the spirit of collaboration, sharing knowledge and information.
Application process

Applicants are first asked to answer a small number of questions and provide information on the animals in their care. This provides an opportunity for the EARS Partner Review Committee to start to get to know the rescue centre and sanctuary.

Assuming there are no obvious conflicting issues, the applicant is then asked to complete a more detailed application form with requested supporting information and a non-refundable application fee of €50. If the applicant appears to fulfil the criteria on paper then the applicant will receive an official visit (screening mission) to verify the information submitted, and for EARS to become more familiar with the facility and its operations. Approval to join EARS as a Partner is based on a report made by the reviewer who conducts the screening mission and the recommendations of the EARS Partner Review Committee to the EARS Board.

If the application is approved there are various obligations to maintain Partner status including an annual Partner fee (based on the annual budget of the facility), attending the annual Partner meeting, and actively engaging with the alliance and working in the spirit of collaboration, sharing knowledge and information. For more information on the application process please contact us.