WVS was founded by Luke Gamble at the end of 2002. As a vet, Luke wanted to help animals in places where veterinary resource was lacking and animal suffering was at its worst.
Inspired by volunteering with several small animal charities internationally, Luke created an organisation that could pool veterinary resources and offer free veterinary help to struggling animal charities and non-profit organisations around the world.
The first few years of WVS was very much about setting up a network of volunteers and donors and to start supporting a small number of charities.
By 2006, WVS was supporting a handful of organisations with both veterinary volunteers and supplies and starting to get noticed within the veterinary community. Located in Luke's basement, Tess joined WVS as a volunteer, going to Luke's house every Wednesday afternoon to make leaflets and help with the increasing admin. Luke left the key under the mat when he went to work and didn't meet Tess in person for a year after she had started! Needless to say, Tess was one of the the first WVS employees and left her job to help drive the charity on at the end of 2006 - she has been with us ever since!
By 2007, the office was moved to a shared premises with Lukes veterinary practice in the village of Cranborne, Dorset. Donated supplies were starting to arrive from other veterinary practices and pharmaceutical companies and the new offices provided plenty of space to coordinate the incoming and outgoing of supplies.
In 2008, we opened a second-hand bookshop in the village to help raise vital funds and increase awareness of the charity locally.
In 2010, we established WVS India, a branch of the charity to manage our new International Training Centre and community outreach projects in India.
In 2015, we established our International Training Centre in Thailand, based in the Chiang Mai Province of Thailand. This was created to provide a dual purpose, to treat animals along with providing a wide range of courses in surgical sterilisation techniques, shelter medicine and shelter management for Thai vets and students.
We also established WVS Australia, in-order to provide on-going services to animal welfare and conservation charities and projects based in the Australian, Polynesian and Melanesian regions.
WVS continues to grow dramatically and now has a team of 7 staff in the UK alone along with many local volunteers who help with the WVS bookshop and our fundraising events. We also now have thousands of members and supporters all over the world and help over 800 animal welfare charities in need of veterinary assistance