The past few days have seen lots of Christmas activity and merriment at our bear sanctuaries in China and Vietnam. With every bear enjoying their annual treat of a sweet and sticky mince pie, together with fancy wrapped boxes full of nuts, seeds and fruit.
I've just shared some incredible experiences with some very special supporters we've had on site at our Chengdu bear sanctuary – including being "totally blind" for 70 minutes at an amazing facility for the blind.
Thanks to the generosity of Hong Kong supporter Mike Horne, last weekend the students of International College Hong Kong (ICHK) were decked out in their new Animals Asia football kit and wearing our name with pride!
Just recently, one of our Bear Team leaders, Yang Li, was trailed on site by a local reporter who was writing stories about special people in Chengdu. The newspaper then asked readers to vote for the most deserving person.
Eddie didn't stand still for long after his starring role at the Professor Paws celebrations in Guangzhou.
I always love our Fun Days in China – and this was no exception with our Cat and Dog Welfare team rolling out the red carpet for Professor Paws Fun Day in Shenzhen!
Sending strength and condolences to the Philippines.
Our fabulous Hong Kong Patron, Karen Mok recently celebrated an exhibition of her 20 years of talent and stardom in "The Age of MOKnificance".
Featuring Animals Asia as her chosen charity, the Opening Ceremony was held at The Landmark Atrium, where our Managing Director, Jim Smillie, Donor Relationship Manager, Cindy Ip, and I went along last Sunday to join in the celebrations with Karen, her husband Johannes, and her family – mum and dad Eleanor and Alan, and brother Trevor.
Passing the blog over to our Vietnam Vet and Bear Team Director, Annemarie, who has written a fabulous summary about a very special vet we recently welcomed on site in Tam Dao.
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.