International Fund for Animal Welfare

International Fund for Animal Welfare

March 18, 2009 11:00 ET

IFAW Honours St. Thomas Animal Hero

ST. THOMAS, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 18, 2009) - IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) presented an Animal Action Award to Bonnie Smith this past weekend for her achievements in animal welfare.

A resident of St. Thomas, Bonnie saw the desperate need for a shelter which would be open to all animals, no matter how sick or injured. As such, she started her own shelter, Pets/Friends for Life, a cage-less, no-kill animal shelter housing mainly cats and dogs.

"I would take any animal in any condition. It didn't matter to me where they came from - they would be welcome at the shelter," said Bonnie, "all animals would be medically assessed when they arrived, and would be spayed, neutered and receive appropriate vaccinations immediately."

Along with being the primary caretaker of the shelter, Bonnie constantly planned for fundraisers and educated young people and the public about proper animal care and the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

"It takes an exceptional individual who so selflessly devotes her life to caring for unwanted and abused animals," said IFAW Canada Director Olivier Bonnet, "Bonnie has been a tremendous animal welfare advocate in and around the community of St. Thomas. IFAW is proud to present her with the Community Animal Action Hero Award for 2008."

Although Bonnie has since moved on from her work at the shelter, she continues to be a passionate advocate for unwanted pets and for responsible pet ownership through spay and neutering.

"It really is an honour to be recognized with this award, but for me it's really all about the animals. Just to rescue one animal and save one life makes it all worth it," said Bonnie.

Founded in 1969, IFAW has offices in 16 countries around the world working to protect animals and habitats while promoting practical solutions for animals and people.

IFAW's Animal Action Awards are presented each year to people who have performed outstanding acts of kindness, bravery or dedication relating to wildlife or domestic animals. This is the sixth year the awards have been presented in Canada.

Contact Information

  • IFAW Canada
    Kim Cormack
    Communications Officer
    613-241-3982, ext. 225
    kcormack@ifaw.org