Association of Colorado Rat Enthusiasts

Colorado Rat Club Promoting Responsible Handling of Rats Through Ethical Breeding & Care

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Club By-Laws

Mission Statement


The Association of Colorado Rat Enthusiasts is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the care and health of rats and to educating the general public that rats are wonderful companion animals. 

Article I: Objectives
Section 1: The objectives of ACRE shall be: 
(a). To encourage responsible pet/breeding rat ownership and care.
(b). Educating the general public that rats are wonderful companion animals.
(c). Providing a valuable and informative resource for ALL rat owners.
(d). Improving the rat fancy in Colorado homes and surrounding states by stressing the importance of proper quarantine procedures.
(e). Promoting only ethical breeding of rats that helps better the rat, and not mass producing poor quality rats. Quality is always before quantity.

Article II: Membership
Section 1: Anyone with a good, honest heart can join! Those who are members in good standing within the rat community may join. "In good standing" may be determined on a case by case basis if it is deemed necessary by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Applying does not necessarily guarantee approval to join.

Section 2:  We have 2 kinds of Memberships here at the moment:
(a) Household Membership is defined as up to two adults, 18 years of age or more, living at the same address and any number of children living at the same address between the ages of 8 and 17. All adult members in the household that have completed and turned in (or have their name on the form) the Membership applications shall have individual voting rights for one year (365 days) from the date the application was received by the ACRE.
(b) Jr. Membership is defined as children under 18 years of age that are applying without their whole household joining too. All Jr. Members in the household that have completed and turned in the Membership applications shall have individual voting rights for one year (365 days) from the date the application was received by the ACRE. Jr. Members ages 16 and under are required to have a parent/guardian contact ACRE to confirm that you are indeed allowed to participate in ACRE activities.

Section 3: Each member applying for membership shall apply by completely filling out the membership application form that is found on the ACRE's web site and submitting it to the ACRE Board Members. By submitting this form, the applicant agrees to abide by the ACRE's Bylaws and Code of Ethics.

Section 4: Membership in the ACRE is for one year (365 days) from the date of receipt of the ACRE membership application by the ACRE.

Section 5: ACRE has a $15.00 membership fee per Household/ Jr. Membership.  An addition $3.00 will be required for household/ Jr. membership wishing to receive the quarterly newsletter via postal mail. Standard membership will include the newsletter via email. This fee may be changed in the future by a majority vote of the Board.

Section 6: ACRE accepts personal checks that have your name imprinted on them by the bank. If you cannot provide this we will require a scanned copy of your photo ID (with the ID number scratched out) to verify authenticity. We also accept money orders with the same requirements for the copy if you're ID to be included with payment. Photo ID must match one of the household members who are applying for membership. This is to verify that you are who you say you are. 

Section 7: A Household/ Jr. Membership may be removed under the following provisions: 
(a). By resignation. Any member may resign from the ACRE upon written notice to any Officer. This Officer must then inform all other Officers within 48 hours of receiving the member resignation.
(b). By expulsion. A membership may be terminated by expulsion as provided in Article VI.

Section 8: All local breeders wishing to apply must meet with the Board of Directors in person to determine the intentions and authenticity of the breeders. We are here to help. We do not discriminate against anyone for any reason. ACRE realizes it is not possible to meet with all breeders outside of the state of Colorado. All Breeders out side of the State of Colorado that wish to join ACRE please join normally. Every non-breeder wishing to join, please do so normally.

Article III: Meetings
Section 1: The President is responsible for scheduling all meetings. The ACRE shall hold quarterly meetings. More meetings may be held if the Board of Directors feels it is necessary. ALL Officers must attend these four meetings unless a valid reason can be shown for not attending. 

Section 2: These meetings may be held in two formats: physically or electronically via a secure chat room.

Section 3: The date and agenda of upcoming ACRE meetings will be posted on the web site as soon as the Board determines the date. At that time, all members will be notified by email of the meeting date and agenda so any concerns or suggestions can be submitted to the Board of Directors for discussion at said meeting, as well as letting the Members of the Board know whether or not you will be attending.
 
Section 4: A summary of the information gathered at the meetings will be kept and can and will be e-mailed to any member if need be.

Article IV: Management
ACRE shall have one governing body: the Board of Directors.
Section 1: The Board of Directors, also referred to as the Board, shall consist of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer,  Public Relations Director (PR Director) and Webmaster, all of whom shall be members in good standing (as defined in Article II, Section 1) within the rat community.

Section 2: ACRE's officers consist of all the members of the Board of Directors: The President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer,  and the Public Relations Director. Powers and duties of the Officers may be altered by a majority vote of the Board, with the exception of a change of presidency.

(a). The President is responsible for the daily running of the ACRE and for the generation of funds for the ACRE. All meetings and events will be scheduled and organized by the President. The President will also fill in for any vacant Officer seats or can appoint the duties of these positions to a fellow Officer having the appropriate skills needed until such time as a new Officer has been selected.
(b). The Vice President shall have the duties and exercise the powers of the President if the President is temporarily unavailable to do his/her duties. The Vice President will also assist the President with any current projects. The President and Vice President are the editors of the ACRE's newsletter and the main contact with members, and will be responsible for ACRE's incoming and outgoing email.
(c). The President and Secretary shall record meeting minutes, keep a current database of the ACRE members, implement advertising strategies, maintain advertising databases, and assist, when necessary, in contacting members regarding any ACRE events and/or meetings. If needed, the Secretary shall assist the Vice President with any current projects.
(d). The Treasurer shall collect and receive all monies due or belonging to the ACRE and shall be accountable for said monies. They shall deposit club monies in a bank account approved by the Board, in the name of Association of Colorado Rat Enthusiasts and may only withdraw monies with a majority vote of approval from the Board. Receipts for all banking transactions will be kept by the Treasurer. The Treasurer's books shall be open at all times to the inspection of the Board. At each ACRE Board of Directors meeting the Treasurer shall report the condition of ACRE's finances. The Treasurer will maintain receipts for all club monies, both incoming and outgoing. The Treasurer will also maintain a current database of all incoming or outgoing monies and will send a biweekly report to the Board. The Treasurer will also send the latest copy of the above mentioned database to the President as a backup file within 12 hours of any update.

(e). The Public Relations Director or PR Director shall be the visible mediator between the ACRE directors and the public. The PR Director will be in contact with the public to communicate ACRE intentions and dealings.

Section 3: Any vacancies occurring within the Board, other than the Presidency or Vice Presidency, shall be filled by remaining Officers within the organization until a new Officer is elected in by a majority vote as specified in Article VI. If the office of the President becomes vacant it shall automatically be filled by the Vice President. If office of the Vice President becomes vacant, the President shall select a new Vice President.

Section 4: An Officer may be removed from office by a majority vote of the Board if there is sufficient reason to do so. The reason must also be agreed upon by a majority vote of the Officers not in question. The Officer in question must be notified in writing that a vote will be held and said Officer may attend and present evidence on his/her behalf, or voluntarily resign before an official vote takes place. If an Officer is removed from office, they cannot hold any ACRE Officer position for two years and one day (731 days) from the date of official removal. If an Officer voluntarily resigns before the Board has voted upon removal, said Officer cannot hold any ACRE Officer position for one year and one day (366 days) from the date of resignation. 

(a) ACRE President may not be removed from Office. The President owns the club.

Article V: Voting 
Section 1: All general members 18 years of age or over and in good standing (as defined in Article II, Section 1.) shall have voting privileges.
(a) General membership: Each member 18 years or over has one vote for issues brought to the general membership by the Board. A majority vote is required for an issue to be decided. 
(b) Board of Directors: Each Officer shall have one vote in any issue brought before the Board for a decision. A majority vote is required for an issue to be decided.

Article VI: Discipline 
Section 1: Any member may bring charges against another member for alleged misconduct. Formal written charges must be filed with any Officer of the Board. That Officer will send a copy of the charges to all other Board members and the accused member within 24 hours of receiving the original charges.

Section 2: Jurisdiction must be decided upon within 10 days of the receipt of formal charges by all Officers. The Board shall first consider whether the alleged misconduct has been proven, asking both the accuser and the accused to state their cases. If the proof submitted by the accuser is deemed insufficient by the Board, charges may be dropped by a majority vote of the Board. If the Board deems the proof sufficient, a date for a disciplinary hearing will be set, where the Board will decide upon appropriate disciplinary action for the misconduct. A majority vote of the Board is necessary to enact said discipline. The accused will be notified of the hearing date and may speak on their behalf during the discipline hearing.

Section 3: If charges are deemed worthy enough to go to a disciplinary hearing, the accused member will be considered on probation from the date that the Board entertains jurisdiction until such time as the charges are dropped or a more appropriate discipline is decided upon. "Probation" is defined as having all voting rights removed.

Section 4: A member may be suspended from all club privileges by a majority vote of the Board. The length of the suspension will be decided upon by a majority vote of the Board on a case by case basis.

Section 5: Expulsion of a member from ACRE may be accomplished only at an official meeting of the Board, following a disciplinary hearing where a majority vote of the Board agrees on the discipline of expulsion. Any member expelled from ACRE is eligible to rejoin after one year and one day (366 days). Membership fees will not be refunded after member removal.

Section 6: A written copy of the Board's final decision must be provided to both the accused and the accuser within 24 hours of any decision.

Section 7: "Some" examples of reasons for membership removal are as follows:

(a) "Trouble making" behind the scene of the group.

(b) Using a website or any other internet site to bad mouth other members of this rat community.

(c) Not showing respect to other breeders and members of this rat community.

(d) Promoting or working with breeders who have careless rat breeding ethics and ideals, even if it makes it easier to get breeding stock, because this does not benefit rats, rather it only benefits self and promotes a careless attitude about rat breeding. This includes adopting breeding stock from a breeder who has not followed contract be that verbal or written and has bred rats illegally on non breeding contracts. No matter how far back in the known pedigree this is the case, it is not ethical or responsible to promote this type of practice.

(e) Promoting breeders or adopting breeding stock from a rat abusing breeder. This only gives them a reason to keep breeding and is not responsible.


Article VII: Dissolution

Section 1: ACRE may be dissolved at any time by the decision of the club President.  At that time all debts occurred by ACRE will be paid in full. After the debts are paid off, all monies left over will be donated to a non profit animal organization dedicated to the betterment of animals. The board will vote on what organization will receive these monies.

Article VIII: Amendments to ACRE Bylaws and Code of Ethics: 
Section 1: Amendments to the Bylaws and Code of Ethics can only be passed by a majority vote of the Board. All members must be notified of any amendments within 24 hours of enactment. Any amendments to the Bylaws or Code of Ethics will take effect when notification has been sent out to all current members.

Adopted in 2006.