Fifteen years have passed since the opening of FOUR PAWS UK, the London based branch of a global network of offices that revolve around the FOUR PAWS epicentre in Vienna, Austria. Much like us as an organisation, the world has changed so much in this time, but we’ve always stayed true to our mission and our vision to reveal, rescue, and protect animals worldwide. Now, as we celebrate our 15th anniversary during these unprecedented times, it is important to reflect on what we have achieved and how the best is hopefully yet to come.
Based in a nation of animal lovers, operated by a team of animal lovers, and fuelled by the support of animal lovers, the past fifteen years have seen us transform from our humble beginnings into a fully-fledged, well-oiled machine that is proudly representing the UK in this global movement to end animal suffering across the world. Due to this, we have been able to make real and lasting changes in several key areas across our campaigns. This includes, but is not limited to the successes and activities shown below:
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We hope you will join us in celebrating these achievements, as they would not be possible without supporters like you. As Director of FOUR PAWS UK for the last five and half years, I have been part of the roller coaster that comes with campaigning on numerous animal welfare issues; the frustration, the hope, the empty promises from those with power that come to nothing meaning we have to continue the fight- but then sometimes, happily, the joy of seeing real change in law or corporate policy as a result of sustained efforts to help animals experience a kinder and more just world.
Add to this the joy of seeing all those individual animals rescued from awful places around the world and placed in sanctuaries and there is much to celebrate. Over the years, it has always been so reassuring to me and the team to know that our supporters (you) were always there to help us, whether it be with campaigning actions such as petitions, financial support with which we simply could not do what do, or simply with words of encouragement and thanks which drive us on through the darkest of times. With this in mind, we want to assure you all that we have no plans to rest on our laurels. In fact, we are only getting started.
We can see from our achievements that change is possible, that we can surmount these seemingly insurmountable problems and create a genuine difference to the lives of animals suffering at the hands of human exploitation, cruelty or indifference. But there is also still much to do and for some issues that we have campaigned on over the years, the fight continues.
After a year that no one would care to remember but which we should not forget for the very likely reasons it began, the future has the potential to be brighter, but only if we make positive changes in the here and now and for the long-term. If we do this, the world could look very different in another fifteen years. If we, as a species, choose to #LiveKinder, we could have:
- No wild animals used in entertainment, kept as pets or traded for their body parts
- No dogs or cats killed for their meat in Southeast Asia or anywhere else
- No fur sold as fashion
- No mega farms
- No live animals moved for meat or fattening up
- Everyone eating less meat overall
- Only responsible pet owners supporting the #adoptdontshop message
- All animals truly recognised as sentient beings, both in law and in practice
This is just a small glance at what could be possible if we come together. The journey is just getting started, a world that is kinder to animals is within our grasp. We look forward to having you with us along the way.