1898. Lisette Van Riel
Lisette Van Riel, from Wakefield, co-founded ‘DoggyWarriors’ to raise money for rescue centres and help reduce the number of dogs that have no homes.
Whilst working in Dubai, Lisette adopted a dog Beautie from a local shelter. After returning to the UK, she began researching further about rescue centres and was shocked to discover how 130,000 dogs are abandoned every year. Starting in July 2020, Lisette has run a ‘DoggyLottery’ to direct funds towards dog charities, with nearly £50,000 raised so far for 80 rescue centres across the UK. She has since expanded the initiative into ‘DoggyWarriors’ to further raise money by selling merchandise, with all profits being invested into struggling shelters and campaigns that aim to reduce the number of abandoned dogs.
In a personal letter to Lisette, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Those of us who have dogs know how special a part of the family they are and how much joy and companionship they bring to millions of homes across the country, which is why I was inspired to learn of ‘DoggyWarriors’.
“Your story of adopting Beautie and raising over £50,000 for 80 rescue centres in the UK is so uplifting. With your initiative, I am hopeful that more dogs will find loving homes which they can call their own.”
“There are hundreds of stories about people in the pet industry making a difference so it’s amazing that our hard work has been recognised by the Government for the Points of Light award. It really helps with the awareness of our cause to raise money for dog charities in need and more importantly to put a spotlight on the huge amount of dogs that get abandoned each year. Hopefully it will encourage more people to join our ‘DoggyWarriors’ community and support dogs in need.”