Cornwall Branch Registered Charity No 1024808

Report animal cruelty

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How we respect privacy when we deal with a person’s personal information collected by our organisation.

RSPCA Branches are separately registered, volunteer run charities using a governing document approved by the national RSPCA. All our branches respect your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal data.

This Notice explains in general terms how RSPCA Cornwall Branch (the Branch) treats information it collects about individuals who interact with it. Please read this privacy notice together with any other information that we may provide on specific occasions when we ask to collect or process your personal data, so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using it.

The identity of RSPCA Cornwall Branch is clear from its name and charity number which will be on this website, letters, forms, leaflets and any public information, like Newsletters and posters publicising events. The Branch is an unincorporated charity, acting through its Board of Trustees as registered with the Charity Commission, and is the data controller and responsible for your personal data. If you have questions about how the Branch handles your information, please contact the Branch direct.

This privacy notice supplements any other specific notices provided by the Branch and is not intended to override them.

1.  Personal data that we process

The following explains the types of data we collect and the legal basis for processing it under current data protection legislation.

If you enquire about the Branch, our animals, our work or make a complaint, we will take your name, telephone number, email and/or postal address and details of your query.  The legal basis for this may be to fulfil a contract with you (eg to be considered for adoption of an animal) or legitimate interest (it is necessary for us to read, record and store your message so that we can respond in the way you would expect). We may have a legitimate interest in sharing some of your personal data with the national RSPCA, who support branches in governance and administration, including complaint handling.

If you wish to receive updates by email or post about our work (eg Newsletters to Friends of the Branch and regular supporters), including fundraising updates, we will take your name, email or postal address and a contact number.  The legal basis for this is consent – you will need to have given us your active consent to be contacted in this way and can rescind this at any time.  Further information will be provided at the point we collect your data.

If you make a donation to us we will request your name, email and/or postal address. In general we will not take any financial information, but ask you to donate through your bank or via a third party processor (eg Justgiving) who are data controllers in their own right. We are able to take Debit card payment donations over the phone, but these details are used only for that transaction and not stored after this event. A receipt for such payments can be forwarded to you on request.  We may write to thank you for your donation on the basis of legitimate interest – this is necessary for us to fulfil your intention of receiving your donation and your expectation of receiving an acknowledgement.

If you ask us to claim Gift Aid on your donation, we will collect the information that is required by HMRC because we have a legal obligation to obtain this to process your Gift Aid declaration. This can apply to monetary donations by post, ‘phone and in person direct to the Branch and donations made through our charity shops.

If you sign up as a Branch Member, the national RSPCA will take your name, address, email address and payment information. The legal basis for this is fulfilling a contract – by paying your membership fees and being accepted as a member, you have entered into a contractual relationship with the national RSPCA, governed by our Rules. If you consent to applying for Branch membership, your details will be passed to the Branch and your application/membership are governed by our governing document (Branch rules).  Your contact details will be used by the Branch to issue invitations to the AGM and any other correspondence relevant to your Branch membership.

If you ask us to rehome your animal we will take your name, address, email and contact numbers and any history relevant to the animal’s welfare and behaviour, including veterinary information.  The legal basis for this is performance of a contract with you to acquire the full legal title of the animal and to seek to rehome it.  We may request your consent to contact your pet’s previous vet to obtain a veterinary history.

To register you as a potential adopter or to place an animal into your home for adoption or fostering, we will ask you for your name, address, email and telephone numbers along with information about your family, home and lifestyle.  The legal basis for this is performance of a contract with you (the adoption agreement). As part of our adoption/fostering process, we may conduct a home visit to help match you with the right animal, and part of this may involve us using a Google map search. The home visit may be carried out by a volunteer or a member of our staff, or another charity within the RSPCA network, who will be acting for our Branch for these purposes. In processing your application, we may collect special category data, in particular about your health, and we will only process this information on the basis of your explicit consent and specifically for the purpose of ensuring a suitable match between you and the animal available for adoption/fostering (eg fur allergy).

To process a request for financial help towards veterinary costs under the Branch Welfare Assistance scheme, or subsidised Cat Neutering or free cat Microchipping Campaigns, we will take your name, address, contact number and email.  Where these schemes require you to be on certain benefits to qualify, we will ask to see proof of means tested benefits and identification or proof of address.  The legal basis for this is performance of a contract with you and so we can ensure you are eligible for our charitable services and that we deliver public benefit. We will issue you with a voucher number for use by a vet in treating your animal and invoicing the Branch.

If we register or amend microchip details for an animal being adopted to you, we will ask for your name, address, email and contact numbers in order to pass to the relevant microchip database company (principally Identibase, Anibase, Petlog).  The legal basis for this is performance of a contract between you and the microchip company so that if your pet is missing, you can be reunited. Microchipping is also a legal obligation for all dogs in the UK.

If we scan a microchip in a stray animal, we will contact the microchip database company and follow their process to contact you to let you know we have found your pet.  The legal basis for this is our legitimate interest as an animal welfare organisation in re-uniting stray animals with owners.  If, after taking all reasonable steps to trace an owner, we are unable to make contact, we will seek to re-home the animal and re-register the microchip accordingly.

To register your interest in volunteering or applying for a job with the Branch, we will collect your name, address, email and contact telephone numbers and ask you for details regarding your application.  Sometimes criminal records and other checks may be required in line with our safeguarding and legal obligations. In processing your application, we may collect special category data, in particular about any disability and we only process this information on the basis of your explicit consent and specifically for the purpose of ensuring we meet our legal obligations (eg to make reasonable adjustments). We may also seek references who will need to consent to being contacted by the Branch.  Next of kin details will be requested if your application is successful, as part of our legal responsibility for your safety whilst with us.  Occasionally we need to contact a third party if concerned about your vital interests (eg in a medical emergency). We may also have a legitimate interest in sharing some of your personal data with the national RSPCA, who support branches in governance and administration, including recruitment of staff and volunteers.

We have installed CCTV in our Animal Centre for the purposes of our legitimate interest in crime prevention and detection, and protection of our staff and property.  Images captured by CCTV will not be kept for longer than necessary however, on occasions, there may be a reason to retain images for longer (eg if a crime is being investigated).  You have the right to access CCTV images of yourself.  Signage advising of CCTV equipment is displayed in the areas covered by CCTV.

We may use images of you and/or your pet in relation to promoting our charitable activities or fundraising.  Please note that we (or our authorised partners) may film or photograph participants, volunteers and spectators attending or taking part in our events (eg our annual Dog Show).  We may then use such images to publicise our work in advertising, publications, marketing material, social media, personalised direct mail and other media that may be made available to the public.

No personal details (including names) of any person under 16 will be used in any publicity materials without their written consent or that of their parent/legal guardian (depending on their age).  However, we may use images where children are incidentally included, for example, images of mass participation, but will give older children, or their parents/guardians, the opportunity to opt out.

We would ideally like to obtain your explicit consent before processing any images that would identify you directly, such as photos of a small group.  However, in mass participation events where this is not practical we would ask you to speak to Branch staff at the event, or the Branch Admin Officer ( after the event, in order to opt out and request your images are deleted from our records.

We do display images of animals that have been adopted and in the majority of cases this will not be considered as personal data and details of new owners are never disclosed. However, as an adopter of an animal, you can request at adoption that their image is not used, or that it is removed from the Branch’s literature, website and social media at any time.

If you participate in a fundraising event that we have organised such as Christmas fair, Dog show, a raffle, competition or prize draw, we may take your name and contact telephone number in order to administer the event. The legal basis for this is performance of a contract with you.

If you use our website, your website activity will be collected through “cookies”. Further details about our use of cookies are detailed below in section 6.

2.  How we use your data

We will only use your data in a manner that is appropriate considering the basis on which that data was collected, as set out in the information at the top of this policy.

For example, we may use your personal information to:

  • reply to enquiries you send to us;
  • handle donations or other transactions that you initiate;
  • where you have specifically agreed to this, send you marketing communications relating to our work which we think may be of interest to you.

If you are a Branch Member, we will send you an invitation to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) once a year by post, or email if you have opted in to this, and occasional information updates about the charity you are a member of.

3.  When we share your data

We will only pass your data to third parties in the following circumstances:

  • you have provided your explicit consent for us to pass data to a named third party;
  • we are using a third party purely for the purposes of processing data on our behalf and we have in place a data processing agreement with that third party that fulfils our legal obligations in relation to the use of third party data processors; or
  • we are required by law to share your data.

We may also have a legitimate interest in sharing some of your personal data with third parties, in particular the national RSPCA, who as the umbrella charity supports branches in governance and administration.

In addition, we will only pass data to third parties outside of the EU where appropriate safeguards are in place as defined by Article 46 of the General Data Protection Regulation.

4.  How long we keep your data

We take the principles of data minimisation and removal seriously and have internal policies in place to ensure that we only ever ask for the minimum amount of data for the associated purpose and delete that data promptly once it is no longer required.

Where data is collected on the basis of consent, we will seek renewal of consent at least every 3 years.

5.  Rights you have over your data

You have a range of rights over your data, which include the following:

  • Where data processing is based on consent, you may revoke this consent at any time and we will make it as easy as possible for you to do this (for example by putting ‘unsubscribe’ links at the bottom of our marketing emails).
  • You have the right to ask for rectification and/or deletion of your information.
  • You have the right of access to your information.
  • You have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner if you feel your rights have been infringed.

A full summary of your legal rights over your data can be found on the Information Commissioner’s website

If you would like to access the rights listed above, or any other legal rights you have over your data under current legislation, please get in touch with us via the ‘Contact Us’ section of our website.

Please note that relying on some of these rights, such as the right to deleting your data, will make it impossible for us to continue to deliver some services to you. However, where possible we will always try to allow the maximum access to your rights while continuing to deliver as many services to you as possible.

6.  Website “Cookies” and usage tracking

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is downloaded onto your computer when you visit a website. Cookies are used by many websites and can do a number of things (eg remembering your preferences, recording what you have put in your shopping basket or counting the number of people visiting a website).

The RSPCA Cornwall Branch website uses Google Analytics to carry out statistical analysis of page use, page interactions and paths through the Website to evaluate and develop our Website. This is known as ‘digital analytics’. We may also record certain information that customers provide during a Website visit.

This information allows us to understand individual use of our website and adjust it to visitor’s needs more accurately.   For more information on how Google uses the data collected via this service, visit:

To opt out of your visits to our website being tracked via Google Analytics, you can also use Google’s opt-out browser add-on:

7.  Modifications to this Notice

We may modify this Privacy Policy from time to time and will publish the most current version on our website. If a modification meaningfully reduces your rights, we’ll notify people whose personal data we hold and are affected.