A big girl at heart, I absolutely love this time of year, and no more so than when it involves the Animals Asia family and our beautiful bears.
Meanwhile at the other end of the scale, our Walk for Harmony last Sunday saw devoted families taking their much-loved dogs for a walk around the Peak in Hong Kong.
What a difference a few weeks make! So many of the "meat market" dogs rescued in mid-October are completely different in both physical and psychological health, that it's fast becoming a celebration every time we visit. No longer terrified, depressed, or thin, but filling out in body, happy in character, and skipping round in excitement whenever staff or visitors arrive.
On Monday, the floor under the surgery table in Vietnam was puddled with blood. But my goodness did Dream, bear number V100, feel so much better once all her rotten teeth had been removed. Vet Kirsty, along with Caz, Rae and team all worked like troopers following the rescue of our 14 bears; bent double over this poor bear as they drilled, manoeuvred and removed teeth that had been the source of constant pain for at least 7 or 8 years.
Our truly amazing Australian ambassador has done it again - lovely celeb Peter Northcote and Bands for Bears member Brydon Stace, singer extraordinaire, were at Lalor Park Primary School special needs class where they had the kids with their hands up for the bears.
Oh how very nice it was to be back in the USA and Canada in the second part of our Roadshow.
Our UK office is running a Twitter and email competition that will see a family of four enjoying an evening performance of the Firework-maker's Daughter at London's Bloomsbury Theatre on 15 December 2011.
Last Sunday turned out to be a rather special day after Eddie and I were invited to join and speak at a family pet service at the Resurrection Church in Sai Kung, Hong Kong.
This picture is what Dr Dog is all about. Our final World Animal Day event held in Guangzhou last Sunday, which also celebrated 20 years of Dr Dog, was an unprecedented success. Over 300 people came along, including 90 special-needs children, such as this gorgeous young girl enjoying some unique hugs and therapy from Dr Dabu.
The rescued market dogs now safe at the Qi Meng rescue centre are doing as well as can be expected. More or less our whole vet and senior bear team were there at the end of last week, including Monica, Jo, Sofie, Sally, Nic, Wendy, Alice, Howard, Rocky and Wen Yan, all working feverishly to complete the vaccinations and separating more dogs into areas, depending on their injuries and disease.
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.