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Prime minister recognises South Woodford volunteer for saving thousands of animals in Sri Lanka

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 January 2020

After many years of self-funded work to help street dogs which she felt was only a drop in the ocean in tackling the huge problem, Kim decided to found Animal SOS Sri Lanka in 2007. Picture: Kim Cooling

After many years of self-funded work to help street dogs which she felt was only a drop in the ocean in tackling the huge problem, Kim decided to found Animal SOS Sri Lanka in 2007. Picture: Kim Cooling

Archant

Prime minister Boris Johnson has recognised a South Woodford volunteer for her exceptional service improving animal welfare in Sri Lanka.

Animal lover and former social worker Kim Cooling, 62, from South Woodford, has rescued tens of thousands of dogs in need at her sanctuary in Sri Lanka, as well as providing vaccinations and neutering to many more street dogs, and permanent refuge for around 200 disabled canine residents at any one time. Picture: Kim CoolingAnimal lover and former social worker Kim Cooling, 62, from South Woodford, has rescued tens of thousands of dogs in need at her sanctuary in Sri Lanka, as well as providing vaccinations and neutering to many more street dogs, and permanent refuge for around 200 disabled canine residents at any one time. Picture: Kim Cooling

Kim Cooling, the founder of Animal SOS Sri Lanka, one of the few sanctuaries in the country supporting its population of three million stray dogs, has been given the Points of Light award.

The awards recognise outstanding volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others and the prime minister makes daily announcements of the winners to celebrate, encourage and promote volunteering and the value that it brings to the country.

In the past 10 years, Animal SOS Sri Lanka has saved thousands of street animals.

The sanctuary, located in southern Sri Lanka, is currently caring for more than 1,700 destitute dogs and 62 cats, many of whom are disabled or victims of abuse.

In the past year, Animal SOS Sri Lanka has provided more than 20,000 treatments and 11,500 vaccinations for dogs in Sri Lanka, as well as feeding more than 1,600 animals a day.

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In a personal letter to Kim, prime minister Boris Johnson said: "I know you do this with no thought of praise or reward, but allow me to offer my own recognition of how you are providing life-saving veterinary care and rehabilitation to thousands of stray and suffering animals in Sri Lanka."

Kim hopes to expand the reach of the charity, to help even more animals.

"Ten years on and after much blood, sweat and tears we have saved thousands of precious lives through our work in Sri Lanka and paved the way for a better future for street animals," she said.

"We nurse animals back from the brink of death every day of the week. We never give up on them and they are so grateful for that.

"We also provide employment opportunities to 40 villagers, many of whom were directly affected by the 2004 Tsunami.

"However, we have so much more to do and so many more animals desperately needing our help.

"My dream is to expand our vital project to other areas in Sri Lanka where sick and injured street animals have no access to help whatsoever. I hope that one day we have the resources to realize this dream."


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