This past month has been one for the dogs in Hong Kong! Just a few weeks ago we held our annual Walk for Harmony, with nearly 100 volunteers, supporters and their dogs turning up in the heat to walk a route in Hong Kong – showing off our four-legged best friends as a species so deserving of being humankind’s friends, not food or fur.
Love and thanks from the heart from the bears, dogs, cats and people who have had the utmost privilege to know and work with Annie Ditton, our amazing volunteer who gave up six months of her life to live and work on site with us in Chengdu.
“Danny has hobbies: being stroked, car watching and smelling feet”. And so goes a verse in the poem “A Day in the Life of Danny the Cat” by celebrity poet Benjamin Zephaniah who came to see us on site in Chengdu this week.
As we celebrate the year of the Tiger, it’s ironic to see such hideous treatment of this endangered New Year icon in China’s safari parks and zoos.
Who would have thought our teeny tiny Jingle could have grown up so fast. Rescued in Chengdu towards the end of 2009, our "baby" of the family is now weighing in at an incredible 50kgs (give or take a few grams).
Our volunteers are literally everything to the bears (and dogs and cats) at our sanctuaries in Chengdu and Vietnam. Over the years, we’ve had some absolutely fabulous help from passionate people who are willing to give up three months of their lives and step into the great unknown. They work for nothing except for meals and board, and of course lots of “food for the soul” from the resident animals we house.
A message sent to the team Sunday morning with the tragic news that Tiger had lost his fight for life....
On the eve of the Lunar New Year, we received the most beautiful message from Bear Manager Belinda in Vietnam... announcing the news that one of our new arrivals, Italia, had given birth to a little male cub. As Belinda explains:
Our Senior Education Officer in Chengdu, Jacky Yuan, sent such a lovely message to all the staff that I wanted to share it with you. (I know Jacky won’t mind):
Pinch me. Because surely I must be dreaming. This morning's event in the centre of downtown Chengdu will go down in the Animals Asia history as another turning point in our campaign to end bear farming in 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, she 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 visits hospitals and homes for the elderly with her own animal-therapy dog, Eddie, who was rescued from a meat market in China.
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 team.
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, Jill 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 of its kind 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 400 bears in China and Vietnam.
Jill is a Council Member of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) Herbal Committee and shares her home in Hong Kong with her family of three dogs and five cats.