Author and VHS McVitie Fund founder is an animal champion

Nicholas Read has been supporting the Vancouver Humane Society for more than 20 years.

As a journalist with the Vancouver Sun in the 1980s through to the early 2000s, Nicholas had a popular animal rights column and wrote many stories about animal issues. This included coverage of some of VHS’s campaigns. Nicholas was the reporter who broke the story of the Greater Vancouver Zoo’s plan to sell long-suffering Tina the Elephant to another zoo in 2003, which sparked a successful VHS campaign to have her sent to a sanctuary.

Nicholas also founded VHS’s McVitie Fund, named after his cat McVitie, who he rescued while on holiday in Portugal. When McVitie died in 2003, Nicholas realized that not every animal guardian has the financial security to provide for their animal when they get sick or injured. “People have enough to worry about when their animal gets sick, without having to think about using their rent money to pay for veterinary bills.” The McVitie Fund offers a safety net for vulnerable individuals on low income.

As well as working as a journalist, Nicholas is a prolific writer, having authored 11 books ranging from novels for young adults that address farmed animal issues, to exploratory books on the Great Bear Rainforest.

Nicholas’s most recent book, A Home Away from Home, details true stories of wild and exotic animals that were once kept as pets or used for entertainment and have since been rehomed in wild animal sanctuaries. This book is an eye-opening read for us all.

“There is no defence for wild animals being kept as pets or in captivity. My hope from this book is that people will think twice about adopting an exotic as a pet, going to the circus, or going to SeaWorld.” A Home Away from Home is available to purchase through the Greyhaven Bird Sanctuary website.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Nicholas for his ongoing generous support of VHS.