Twenty years at the frontline of animal welfare

Twenty years at the frontline of animal welfare

Hear from the Founder & CEO of WVS, Luke Gamble.

Twenty years ago, I laid the foundation for WVS; the goal was to champion animals that had no access to veterinary care. The journey since then, while filled with challenges, has been incredibly rewarding. From our initial days of modest means to becoming a beacon of hope for animals in need, the growth of WVS over the years stands testament to the dedication of countless individuals and the power of collective effort. Our successes demonstrate the tireless dedication of like-minded individuals who have consistently gone the extra mile to make an impactful difference, and it’s this team that has inspired and shaped by entire career.

A decade after the start of WVS, recognising the urgent need to combat the deadly but preventable menace of rabies, Mission Rabies was born. With a focused approach, this initiative took on the daunting task of rabies elimination, one community at a time. To see it grow from a fledgling project into a global force has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. It is such a privilege to be a part of this organisation where we are making a genuinely impactful difference, saving both animals and people who would otherwise be at risk of contracting this horrifying disease.

Now, in 2023, we have joined the Dogs Trust family, securing a lasting legacy that will empower us for decades ahead, as we strive to further champion our ideals and objectives. We currently have five International Training Centres, training almost 2,000 vets a year in humane population control surgeries. We have wildlife programmes, large animal outreach, and companion animal projects that span the globe.

With Mission Rabies, we’re rabies educating over one million children a year in some of the poorest places in the planet where that knowledge can make a lifesaving difference, and we’re vaccinating nearly half a million dogs annually against the world’s deadliest disease. We’ve made Goa the first rabies-controlled state in India and are on the cusp of eliminating it from several other key project sites. Our research and tech is world leading in epidemiological zoonotic disease control strategies. To cap it all – thanks to our new event, the Rabies Rally, we even have eleven tuk tuks on a mission to raise awareness and funds in the UK! And yet with all this – I still feel we are just getting going and the fire has never burned brighter.

Reflecting on these twenty years, it’s of course not just about numbers or metrics, but the countless lives touched, both animal and human. It’s about the resilient communities we’ve empowered, the dedicated volunteers who’ve given their all, and the difference we’ve made, one day at a time.

For me, WVS represents hope, transformation, and the undying belief that change is always possible when driven by passion and purpose. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the charity over the years, to all of you that have supported and shared in our ideals. I cannot wait to see what we can achieve together over the next twenty years!!!

Rock on!!!!!!!!!

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