Our History

2002 : The Beginning

The Animal Cancer Trust (ACT) was founded by Malcolm Brearley, the first specialist veterinary oncologist in the UK. 

ACT was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and was registered as a charity governed by its memorandum and articles of association. 

2003 – 2012 : Education, treatment, research

Malcom and his early trustees worked hard to meet the founding aim of education. 

Most of the charity’s work continued to focus on education, something that remains at the heart of the charity today, by raising awareness of the fact that just like people, animals get cancer too.  

 Malcolm’s vision was to fund and build a large cancer treatment centre with radiotherapy facilities in the north of England with a large enough case load to facilitate clinical trials and comparative research. This vision in fact began to be met by others in the UK as more specialist treatment centres for cancer were materialising during the first two decades of the 21st century. Now the UK is in the enviable position of having more options than ever before in terms of cancer diagnosis and treatment for animals. 

2013 : Change of management

Malcolm Brearley stepped down as Chair of the Board of Trustees to enjoy his retirement.

2014 – 2019 : A time of growth and development

Vicki J Adams stepped down as a Trustee to be appointed Acting Chief Executive. 

In 2014 the ACT joined Facebook and in 2015 a new design of the website was launched with more content along with a new printed flyer describing the charity. 

During these years much work went into increasing awareness of the charity and it’s work.  With the help of fundraising organisations such as JustGiving, EasyFundraising, Charitable Bookings, AmazonSmile, Charitable Giving (payroll giving) and Paypal Giving Fund, we have been able to attend many new events to continue to raise awareness and funds to keep the charity financially sustainable. 

All of the achievements during this time would not have been possible without the hard work of the many volunteers and supporters who helped the charity.

2020 : A new era

Heading into 2020 a new website with more content was planned for launch in March.   

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on this project as those involved had to focus on more essential workin particular providing support and answers to questions from owners about their pets and a new diagnosis of cancer.  

As we approach the end of the year we are excited to be able to launch the new website together with an announcement about a new campaign for veterinary practices to ACT now and join us to become a Cancer Alert Practice (CAP).