Happy New Year!
As we head into 2017, we are delighted to look back at some of the stand out moments for WVS last year.
We opened up our new International Training Centre in Goa, after WVS took over the management of the IAR centre that was threatened with closure. The sole aim was to build on its incredible legacy and to continue to provide the essential animal welfare that is required in this region. During October's 'Sterilisation Month', 1165 animals were sterilised by the team.
'New Hope', our new behavioural training centre for dogs in Chiang Mai launched earlier this year and this aims to help dogs with challenging behaviour in order to improve their chances of being adopted.
We also recently launched our 'Sponsor a Dog' campaign and are delighted with the positive response to this so far. You can sponsor one of four fantastic dogs for just £5 per month.
We visited 'Cat Island' for a second time, where a team from WVS Thailand and a team of veterinary volunteers visited the island of Koh Yao Yai (which is just off the coast of Phuket) where they sterilised 353 cats as well as vaccinating them against rabies.
Our ITC in Ooty, India continues to thrive and have now operated on over 17,000 dogs since the centre opened in 2010. We have also trained more than 60 vets via our Truck Training Courses where over 880 surgeries have been performed on dogs and cats this year.
We also continued to run our 'Working Equine' health and welfare camps (with WTG) throughout different locations in India where we provided essential veterinary care to the working donkeys of this district, whilst providing practical surgical training to vet students.
Further to last years Christmas appeal, we are now equipping more donkeys with glow in the dark neck collars to help them be seen and to reduce the likelihood of them being involved in traffic accidents.
WVS continues to provide veterinary care to animals in need in Malawi and undertook two sterilisation and veterinary outreach drives in Blantyre (where over 1000 dogs were sterilised in just one month) and Zomba. Our International Veterinary Manager Dr. Dagmar Mayer also ran the first surgical training course in Southern African earlier this year.
From sterilising street dogs to rescuing the three lions from the 'World's Saddest Zoo' and subsequently building the WRC (Wildlife Rescue Centre) to rescue and rehabilitate other wildlife in the future, Armenia was a huge focus in 2016.
So far this year, we have sent out over 700 parcels full of veterinary aid to charities and animal sanctuaries all over the world.
We continue to work closely with our sister charity Mission Rabies who have had a phenomenal year in terms of vaccinating dogs against rabies. In fact, during the month of May, they vaccinated 35,612 dogs in just 20 days!
WVS was also awarded the accolade of 'Animal Welfare Charity of the year 2016' at the Global Health & Pharma awards in December.
WVS and Mission Rabies founder Luke Gamble was awarded the WSAVA 'One Health' Award in August for his on-going commitment to eliminating rabies.
Our website also won the award of 'Best Charity' website at the Good Website Guide Awards in November beating stiff competition from other charities.
We were delighted to announce the launch of our vet nurse bursary sponsored by Centaur Services. All applications have been submitted and we are looking forward to 2017 where the chosen vet nurses will be travelling to one of our animal welfare projects.
Closer to home, we also opened up the 'Sewing Room' a dedicated shop for vintage fabrics, sewing and crafting in the WVS bookshop located in Cranborne, Dorset, which is where our UK Head Office is based.
We want to say a huge thank you to all of our supporters, volunteers, partners and fundraisers for all of your support and we are looking forward to working with you all this year.