BRIAN DAVIES AWARD 2020: And the winner is…. MARES donkey sanctuary in Zimbabwe!
Three hardworking organizations were nominated for the international Brian Davies Award for their exceptional work. Organizations in Zimbabwe, Thailand and Jordan came out tops. Let’s see who won!
Network for Animals (NFA) works in far-flung locations across the word; places where the local conditions often make it extremely challenging to help animals.
Along the way, we meet countless dedicated people who, often for no reward , devote their lives to the wellbeing of animals.
It is that same spirit that motivated our founder and legendary animal welfare pioneer Brian Davies all his life. For more than 50 years, Brian has crusaded for animals in the face of resistance and hostility from people who care nothing for the lives of animals.
It is to honor that extraordinary ethos that NFA created the Brian Davies Award, an annual accolade given to those whose outstanding work succeeds in helping animals against overwhelming obstacles. These are organizations that work in dangerous environments, without any financial or logistical support, or meet with local or political interference or resistance.
Each year, one exceptional animal rescue or welfare group we work with receives a $10,000.00 (£7,746.00) grant as a salute and to assist them in their great work. This is over and above any other grant NFA gives them.
Runners up each receive $5,000.00 (£3,873.00) as an acknowledgment of their own extraordinary achievements.
COMMENDATIONS FOR 2020
MATABELELAND ANIMAL RESCUE & EQUINE SANCTUARY
Zimbabwe is in total economic collapse, fodder and veterinary medicines are difficult to find and extremely expensive. Fifty-five donkeys live at the MARES sanctuary, all of them abandoned or rescued from abusive owners. Drought and poverty have led to an increase in the numbers of sick donkeys, which makes the need for medicines ever greater. Working with determination and, in spite of huge challenges, MARES also crusades for the enforcement of animal welfare laws.
NFA supports MARES financially to ensure the donkeys are safe from slaughter and have both food and shelter.
NFA’s co-founders, Brian and Gloria Davies, are full of praise for the good work: “Network for Animals has been helping MARES for three years, providing financial, veterinary and food aid for the donkeys. Claire Einhorn who runs MARES has impressed us with her absolute relentlessness in helping animals. Indefatigable springs to mind!”
“Network for Animals works with so many dedicated people and organizations around the world that it is always so hard to choose a winner, Al Rabee in Jordan and Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary also do absolutely wonderful work, but what MARES is managing to achieve in spite of overwhelming difficulties is really exceptional.”
AL RABEE SOCIETY FOR NATURE AND ANIMAL PROTECTION
Al Rabee in Aqaba, in Jordan, rescues, rehomes and medically treats street dogs. Much of the time they do so in the face of outright hostility from local people because many people in Jordan consider street dogs vermin and try to kill them on sight. To make matters worse, the authorities often pay a bounty for the ‘capture’ of street dogs, and sometimes dogs are shot openly in the streets or poisoned.
Al Rabee is one of very few no-kill shelters in Jordan and is always full. Presently, it is home to 450 dogs. The shelter also works to enforce notoriously lax animal welfare laws and, through local NGOs and the Ministry of Education, to change people’s attitudes to animals.
NFA supports Al Rabee with a monthly grant and the shelter will use the $5,000.00 prize to create more comfortable living conditions for its dogs.
BAAN UNRAK THAI ANIMAL SANCTUARY
It is estimated that there are over a million street dogs in Thailand, but this number almost certainly does not include the strays in the remote areas of the country, such as in Sanghklaburi in the Province of Kanchanaburi where the Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary was founded in 2007 in the heart of the notorious poppy and heroin trade route and in the region of the country-less Karin Hill Tribes.
The closest veterinarian to the sanctuary is a four-hour journey away, but with financial support from NFA, the founders were able to establish a small veterinary clinic where they can now spay and neuter dogs, feed animals on the streets, find homes for rescue dogs and cats and provide basic animal welfare education in the area.
The on-street clinic has prompted more and more locals to bring their animals in for treatment, but they often have no means to pay. Through ongoing grants from NFA and the $5,000 Brian Davies runner up award, Baan Unrak will continue to do good things for the animals in this remote area of Thailand.
- Luke Barritt
- Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary
- Al Rabee Society for Nature and Animal Protection