This is such a sad blog to post – saying a last goodbye to Rae Joy who sadly passed away this week. This message was sent to the entire Animals Asia family of current and past staff and volunteers, with our love and condolences to Rae's family and all who knew her. Rest in peace Rae. xxx
Seeing dogs and children taking part in our events in China is always guaranteed to be chaotic but full of happiness. Our recent Shenzhen World Animal Day celebration was no exception as the room was filled with barks and squeals of delight, together with lots of bright flashes as the media covered the fun.
It was beyond fabulous to see Dr Dame Jane Goodall recently in Hong Kong during her whirlwind visit and her presentation at the Royal Geographical Society.
The film "Moon Bear" recently swept more awards in China - this time from Jet Li's One Foundation.
What a lovely, lovely night at the Royal Geographical Society in London on the 18 October. Endless thanks to hosts David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, Environmental Investigation Agency (and especially Debbie Banks who gave an amazing presentation of the increasing problems that tigers face today).
What a month September was, with an endless stream of visitors flying in to China from all over the world and giving us the opportunity of thanking them all for their years of kindness and support to the bears.
Thank you all - every group and individual who has written to the authorities in Vietnam in this unprecedented show of support.
Further to my previous blog - I'll be at various events in the UK this week, and updating about our challenges in Vietnam.
Last Friday, we received some shocking news. Animals Asia was handed an official eviction notice from the Ministry of Defence stating that our bear sanctuary, our home for the bears, had to leave Tam Dao National Park.
Following on from the conference in Dalian, it is noteworthy to acknowledge the collaboration between ourselves and many other welfare groups with the authorities across China over the past few years, which have led to significant progress for dogs and cats across the country.
Jill heads Animals Asia’s team of over 300 enthusiastic staff. She divides her time between mainland China, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and travels frequently…READ MORE
Jill Robinson MBE
Jill heads Animals Asia’s team of over 300 enthusiastic staff. She divides her time between mainland China, Vietnam and Hong Kong, and travels frequently around the world to give presentations at conferences and speak at fundraising events.
A hands-on leader, Jill is involved in all major decision-making. She works with the vet and bear teams during rescues and health checks and advises closely on construction projects. She visits dog and cat markets and zoos and safari parks throughout China to document the abuse of animals and over the years has made countless visits to hospitals and homes for the elderly with her own and Animals Asia’s animal-therapy dogs.
She writes her own blog, her own speeches and presentations, is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines and a frequent guest on radio and TV shows. She has also co-written a children’s book about moon bears and co-written a number of scientific papers with Animals Asia’s vet teams.
Born in the UK, Jill arrived in Hong Kong in 1985 and spent 12 years working in Asia as a consultant for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Repeatedly faced with scenes of widespread animal cruelty, she decided to introduce the concept of “animal welfare through people welfare” and founded Dr Dog in Hong Kong in 1991 – the first animal-therapy programme in Asia.
Jill founded Animals Asia in 1998 – five years after an encounter with a caged bear on a farm in southern China changed her life forever. Learning that bear bile could be replaced by herbs, she vowed to put an end to bear bile farming. Since then, Animals Asia has rescued over 530 bears in China and Vietnam.
In 2010, both Animals Asia’s China and Vietnam rescue centres were awarded the Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence and in 2014 they were accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries – the only sanctuaries in China and Vietnam to have received this honour.
Jill is a Council Member of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) Herbal Committee and her outstanding contribution to animal welfare has been recognised with a number of awards. In 1995, she won the “Reader’s Digest” Hero for Today award. In 1998, she was made an MBE by Queen Elizabeth of England. In 2008, she was named “Outstanding Earth Champion” in Hong Kong and was appointed World Animal Day Ambassador for Asia. In 2010, she was one of 12 recognised foreigners given the “You Bring Charm to China” award.
Jill received an honorary doctorate in veterinary science from the University of Zurich, Switzerland in 2012, and an honorary law degree from the University of Nottingham Ningbo China in 2014.
She shares her home in Hong Kong with her family of rescued dogs, cats and a tortoise.