Late founder of The Donkey Sanctuary honoured by British Equine Veterinary Association

The late founder of The Donkey Sanctuary has been recognised by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) as one of 60 people who have inspired the profession.

Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, who died aged 81 in May 2011, founded the charity near Sidmouth in 1969.

It has grown from rescuing UK donkeys from neglect to an international welfare organisation transforming the lives of millions of the animals – and people who depend on them.

BEVA has launched a ‘60 faces’ campaign as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations honouring individuals who have left an indelible mark on the equine veterinary profession.

Dr Svendsen has been selected from hundreds of people nominated for recognition.

David Mountford, CEO at BEVA said: “It was incredibly hard to select 60 people from all the worthy nominees we received. But Dr Svendsen had a huge impact on the life of donkeys around the world and as a consequence on the equine veterinary profession.”

Dr Svendsen was made an MBE in 1981 for her services to donkeys and mules and received an honorary doctorate in veterinary medicine and surgery in 1992.

In 2009, she was awarded a degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Edinburgh.

Alex Thiemann, senior veterinary surgeon at The Donkey Sanctuary, added: “Dr S and her work have been a huge personal inspiration for me and countless other vets who love donkeys.

“The range and depth of her vision now inspire a global charity at the forefront of equid welfare. I had the privilege to know her and enjoy her company.

“She had a great sense of humour and huge work ethic, and ensured donkeys always came 1st, 2nd and 3rd.”

VIDEO: Quick-thinking groom at The Donkey Sanctuary helps safely deliver stuck foal

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