Two donkeys; one grey, one white, standing in a field together

Introducing Simon Pope

Say hello to a member of the UK team!


It's always a pleasure to bring someone onto the team and and we're taking the time to introduce Simon Pope, our Campaign Lead! Here's what Simon had to say about his drive for campaigning and joining FOUR PAWS:

I hadn’t realised, sitting round a campfire under a starlit sky in the Namib desert, just what a different road my career was about to go down. I was working on an internship with the Save the Rhino Trust on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, which was supposed to last six months, then turned into 12 months and eventually two years. But my visa was running out. “We could give you a job,” mused SRTs director. “But all we do is battle the poachers here on the ground. We need people who can create change – make the global authorities understand what it is we are dealing with. That’s just not something we can do, here in the desert, putting ourselves between the rhinos and the poachers all day long.” 

I sat up all night thinking about that, slowly realising; “That’s what I should do. That’s how I can be the most help.” And so, I reluctantly left the desert behind me and joined the Westminster jungle – working as a researcher for an MP in the House of Commons. For 5 years I learned from the inside how to bring about change, exert pressure, collaborate, and campaign. Discovered how the complex and sometimes mystifying process of government works. Even after 5 years, I was still learning new things each day, but moves had begun to bring about an end to hunting with dogs, which I had always despised and so I was signed up by IFAW to work on the successful campaign which led to it being banned.  

And so began a whirlwind, 25-year career encompassing campaigning, communications, and advocacy. Running the media operation for 20,000 endangered penguins covered with oil from a sinking tanker in Table Bay, Cape Town, to working with refugees in Sudan to protect their precious donkeys from starvation. From creating the campaign that stopped Britain’s first US-style mega-dairy to safeguarding the Metropolitan Police’s Wildlife Crime Unit.  

I joined FOUR PAWS earlier this year from The Donkey Sanctuary where I’d set up its campaign to end the global trade in donkey skins for traditional medicine. I’m leading on some of FOUR PAWS campaigns with a particular focus on the puppy trade and live exports. But I’m never happier than when the unexpected or urgent stuff happens, and we can bring together the fantastic skills we have across the organisation and work to create change.  

And every time that happens, I’m right back by the fire in the desert remembering the promise I made and thinking to myself “Always more to be done....”


Simon Pope

Campaigns Lead UK

Simon works in the Campaigns Team at FOUR PAWS UK. He has a background in Campaign Communications across the charity sector. Simon is passionate about animal welfare and utilises his years of knowledge and experience to bring about change.

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