Although a little late in posting, this blog about my trip to Italy is no less sincere, and comes with no less gratitude to all those who made it such a perfect and memorable time. With particular thanks to Irene, our Italy Director, for writing such a beautiful summary of our days spent with friends and supporters. Irene, Giulia and Antonello for their most incredible organisation and coordination of an unforgettable few days.
Dieter Häckl, a long-time supporter of Animals Asia will soon be joining over 3,000 triathletes and 600 relay teams to take on the world's largest triathlon, "Challenge Roth" in the town of Roth, Germany. This includes a multitude of challenges - swimming 3.8km in the Main-Donau-Kanal, cycling 180km, and finally running a marathon of 42.2km. Add the heat of the summer temperature in Roth, and you have some idea of the true task that Dieter is taking on.
A huge and heartfelt thank you - our friends in Australia - for your truly brilliant welcome during our Roadshow this month! Wonderful to see you again - and to take the opportunity to say endless thanks for your faith and help in our campaigns that are seeing such progress for the animals of Asia.
Had a beautiful message a few days ago from UK artist and all-round thoroughly lovely guy Richard Symonds, who, together with equally lovely sculptor Suzie Marsh, held "Moonstruck" just recently in London where their breathtaking art raised much-needed funds for the bears.
I was so disappointed to miss our friends ophthalmologists Claudia and David, plus Emily and James from the Animal Health Trust just recently when they joined our teams in both Vietnam and China to help our poorly sighted bears.
Supporters Laititia and Davide left their home town in Switzerland no less than three years ago to begin an amazing bike-riding expedition. So far they have covered 18,000 kms and are just about to enter China for the next 2,000kms of their incredible journey.
... and after Amy in the UK used her art and talent to help the bears, Julie from Toronto used her passion while on a photography tour of China to help them too.
Every so often a story comes our way that again confirms my belief that things come full-circle. Here's one from the UK.
Sally Taylor, our lovely Bear Manager in Chengdu, swapped out her Wellington boots for rather posher footwear on April 28th when she married Geoff in the UK.
The past few weeks have a been a crazy round of presentations and events in New York, London and Italy, with barely a moment for catching our breath. The highlight of course has been seeing so many old friends, and meeting new supporters of the bears, dogs and cats, where we've been able to convey the reality of the progress across China.
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.