WECare for Sri Lankan animals
537. Janey Lowes
A vet from Newcastle has founded the charity WECare Worldwide to provide veterinary care to animals in Sri Lanka.
Janey Lowes, 27, visited Sri Lanka on holiday and saw the suffering of the country’s estimated 3 million stray dogs. After returning to the UK she decided to take action and, with a donation from her bosses of £10,000, Janey set up the charity WECare Worldwide, providing much needed veterinary help. In 2015 Janey and her team of locally trained vets and UK volunteers neutered almost 900 dogs and cats; vaccinated over 1300 dogs, cats and monkeys against rabies and treated over 400 sick and injured animals. Her work is helping to eliminate rabies in the animal and human population. Sri Lanka is ranked as high-risk for the disease which kills 60,000 per year.
Janey has inspired other vets to join her and volunteer for WECare, including vets from her home veterinary practice Westway. Her team is made up of these volunteers and local staff that are trained up by the UK vets. The team of supporters also regularly hold fundraising event back here in the UK to keep the project running in Sri Lanka.
Janey plans to remain in Sri Lanka and is focused on raising £300,000 to build the country’s first dog hospital dedicated to street dogs.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Janey has shown true compassion by creating a charity that cares for sick and injured animals in Sri Lanka. She has undoubtedly changed the fate of scores of vulnerable animals by protecting them from disease and providing much-needed care. I am recognising Janey as a Point of Light, not only for the positive impact she’s had through helping animals in need, but also for the countless people that will have been protected from rabies by her work.”
“I am absolutely thrilled to receive this award but we have a long way to go in terms of what we need to achieve to change the outlook of animal welfare and veterinary education in Sri Lanka. We all have to start somewhere, however, and it has been the most incredible adventure over the last few years. As a team, we have worked very hard, with lots of blood, sweat and tears, so it is absolutely lovely to receive recognition for that – thank you so much!”