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VHS marks 30 years of helping animals

VHS reception Rebecca Ledger
Keynote speaker Dr. Rebecca Ledger gave a presentation on science and animal emotions and sentience.

Close to a hundred supporters and animal lovers turned out to celebrate VHS’s 30th anniversary at a reception in Allard Hall at UBC on November 21st.

The event highlighted many of VHS’s achievements over the last 30 years and drew attention to the animal welfare issues we continue to address.


VHS executive director Debra Probert

VHS executive director Debra Probert spoke to the assembled guests about VHS’s history, thanking the many people who contributed to our success, including founder Ingrid Pollak. She also described the need for organizations like VHS:  “I‘d just like to remind you why we’re here. We’re here because we all know and care that every day animals are suffering because of human carelessness, thoughtlessness and greed. It’s up to us to speak for them. Tonight we’re taking a few hours to celebrate what VHS has accomplished. But tomorrow, we have to resume our battle to fight for their basic rights to live the lives they were meant to live, with minimal interference from us.”

VHS staffers Emily Pickett (who organized the event) and Peter Fricker also spoke, giving details on our program work.

The evening ended with a compelling presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Rebecca Ledger, a clinical animal behaviourist and animal welfare scientist. Dr. Ledger spoke about changing scientific attitudes toward animal sentience and emotions.

A silent auction and donations at the reception raised $3443 for VHS’s work.

We would like to thank all the supporters, sponsors and volunteers who helped make this event a great success and a memorable evening.

Photos by Sam Steele of Willow Tree PhotographyTo see a photo album of the reception click here.

VHS board and staff, L to R: Peter Fricker, Chris Hajek, Frances Kelly, Marjorie Brown, Debra Probert, Liberty Mulkani, Marylee Davies, Rebeka Breder, Aarti Gupta, Emily Pickett, Amy Balcome.