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Dogs Trust CEO Adrian Burder dies after short illness

Dogs Trust CEO Adrian Burder dies after short illness

A fundraiser who became the CEO of Dogs Trust, Adrian Burder has died unexpectedly following a short illness, the charity has announced.

Adrian joined the charity in 1994 when it was National Canine Defence League and was instrumental in its rebrand to Dogs Trust. Responsible for fundraising, he ultimately grew its income from £3m to £100m and was instrumental in the success of the dog sponsorship idea, which revolutionised the charity’s fundraising, as well as for encouraging people to leave it legacies.

A strong believer in the importance of microchipping dogs, his work, alongside that of others, helped to make it a legal requirement. When microchipping was a costly expense for some, Adrian’s belief that microchipping should be available to all led him to raise the funds to ensure that this became a reality. Making the funds available gave Defra the impetus to make microchipping a mandatory requirement.

Adrian also worked to find ways to help people better understand their dogs. Under his direction, the charity now has 165 experts in training, behaviour and research and 29 Dog Schools set up to educate dog owners so they can help prevent problem behaviours.

From fundraiser and Marketing Director, he became CEO in November 2014, about which he said:

“I’m obsessive about the charity. Having the chance to lead an organisation you love is a great honour.”

He also became Chairman of Dogs Trust Ireland in 2014, and set up Dogs Trust Worldwide to help dogs overseas as well as in the UK, awarding grants to other organisations, and running conferences to share the charity’s expertise more widely.

Jim Monteith, Acting CEO, said:

“It is with great sadness that we can confirm that our much loved CEO, Adrian Burder, has died unexpectedly following a short illness. Our thoughts are with his family at this most difficult time.

“Adrian was one of a kind – his passion for animal welfare changed the lives of millions of dogs in the 24 years he was at Dogs Trust. He will be terribly missed by staff, trustees and volunteers past and present and we are so grateful for his immeasurable contribution to making the world a better place for man’s best friend.

“We are all still letting this tragic news sink in. Adrian has been an integral part of our charity for so many years, as a hugely successful fundraiser and then as CEO since 2014. Adrian is Dogs Trust and we will continue our work in his memory.”


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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