A Priceless Gift

Veterinary Education Pet Gifting Programme

Approved by the RCVS Ethics Review Panel

The Veterinary Education Pet Gifting Programme 

Just as medical schools use humans for teaching purposes, Improve International, one of the UK’s leading veterinary-training companies, also uses animal bodies to help qualified veterinary professionals perfect the latest medical and surgical techniques. Pet cats and dogs who have been put to sleep for welfare reasons decided under the discretion of their owners and guidance of their veterinary surgeon will make a huge and lasting difference to the future care of pets. 

Approved by the RCVS Ethics Review Panel

If you would like to submit some personal information about your pet having already decided to opt in to the Pet Gifting Programme, please click here. 


If your Veterinary Practice would like more information about being involved in the Veterinary Education Pet Gifting Programme, please click here to access our sign up form and a member of our team will be in touch with next steps.

How does being involved make a difference?

We are fortunate in the UK to have some of the world’s best trained veterinary professionals to care for our pets. However it is vital that these vets receive ongoing training so that they can continually learn new medical and surgical techniques. In this way they can provide the very best of care for our pets. Providing your pet’s body to help in veterinary education could help save a pet’s life in the future.

What are the next steps?

Please do consider participating in this incredibly worthwhile programme.  When the time comes for your pet to be put to sleep, your veterinary practice will give you the option of donating his or her body for educational purposes.

We will need you to complete a short consent form which will have your contact details, your pet’s microchip number* on it and relevant medical/surgical history. Your vet will complete a donation card identifying your pet.

If you do decide to opt into the Programme, please let your vet know and they will inform you about the necessary information that is required. 

Your vet will also let you know what the practice receives from Improve International to cover some/all of the costs of euthanasia, cremation and the associated administrative costs. This may take the form of vouchers for courses for vets and nurses to advance their knowledge and practical skills.

*We can arrange for your vet to place a microchip if your pet doesn’t have one. 


A word from the Vets…

“I have a great appreciation for the owners who donated their much-loved dogs to Improve International. As a result of the practical skills training I have received with Improve, I am now better able to deal with more complex orthopaedics cases seen at my practice. Injured and sick pets have definitely benefited as a result of this kind gift.”
Rob, Cardiff

“I would like to say a huge ‘thank- you’ to the owners who have provided their pets once their lives had ended. This has enabled me to learn new techniques and apply these back in my practice for the benefit of my clients and their pets.”
Ed, York


Useful information 

What will happen during the course?

Any personal information you provide about your pet’s character, likes and/or dislikes will be shared with the delegates at the beginning of the course.

Our delegates practise a wide variety of life-saving medical and/or surgical procedures during their training.

For more information see improveinternational.com


How can I be sure my pet will be treated with respect?

We believe that remembering them as individuals is a vital part of remembering that a gifted animal was someone’s much loved pet which is why we request some information about their character.  All members of staff and delegates will be expected to behave respectfully towards your pet at all times.

What happens after my pet has been euthanased?

Your pet’s donation card will be kept with them until they are collected by Improve International. Your vet will arrange for your pet’s body to be collected to enter the programme.

What information will be on the donation card?

The donation card will have the practice name, your surname, your pet’s name, breed and microchip number and whether you have selected a charitable donation, or individual cremation. 

No other personal identifying information will be included.

What happens to my personal information?

We will store any personal information following GDPR guidelines and not share your personal information with anyone.

Your pet’s name will be shared with the delegates unless you specify that you do not wish for that to happen. We will keep your details for no more 5 years from the date of euthanasia.


What happens after transportation?

When your pet arrives at our premises, we will record his/her microchip number for identification throughout the programme. We will then use the information you have provided to select an appropriate training course for them to be gifted to depending on their medical and surgical history. For example, if he/she has had knee surgery then we would not put him or her forward for a course covering knee surgery.

What happens at the end of the course?

Your pet will be collected and transported to an authorised pet crematorium. You will have been given the option to choose what happens to your pet once the educational course has taken place.

You can choose between two options:

 For some people, it means a great deal to have their pet individually cremated and the ashes returned to them. We would be happy to arrange this for you as a small thank you for your gift to the programme. If you prefer not to have the ashes, then your pet will be cremated as a shared journey and we will make a donation to the charity of your choice.**

Please give yourself the time to decide which option you prefer before completing the gifting process – your vet will be happy to give you time to decide before arranging the collection. If you have requested individual cremation, your pet’s ashes will be sent to your vet’s clinic for you to collect. Your vet will contact you when they are ready for you to collect. 

If you have selected a charitable donation, your pet will be sent on a ‘shared journey’ with other cats and dogs and the ashes will be scattered in the garden of remembrance at the crematorium.  You will not receive any information about which procedure has been performed on your pet and no post-mortem information will be provided. All of your pet’s remains will be kept together at all times and be sent for cremation together, with nothing retained for any purpose.

**If you decide against individual cremation then as soon as your pet has been collected this decision cannot be reversed.

How long will you keep my pet’s body?

We will not keep any pet for longer than 6 months before sending them for cremation. Your pet will be remembered in our Memorial pages on the website.

How can you ensure I will get my own pet back?

We will use the microchip number to identify your pet and this will be checked at every stage of the process up until cremation.

What should I do with my pet’s collar?

  Please remove your pet’s collar before donating their body.

We hope to have answered all of your questions on this page, but if not then please email and a member of the team will respond to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can speak to us by calling 01793 759159. 

Thank you for your kind and generous gift.