By Gayle McDonald
A vet who works tirelessly to help animals in need around the world has received a national award.
From three-legged elephants in Thailand to poorly farm animals in Dorset and Hampshire, there isn’t much Luke Gamble hasn’t seen during his career.
As well as treating farm and domestic animals at veterinary practices in Cranborne and Fordingbridge, the 38-year-old has founded two international charities and raised millions of pounds to support animal welfare projects across the globe.
In recognition of his devotion to his work, Luke received the prestigious vet of the year award by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
He said: “I have always liked to pick the underdogs, to help where there is most need. It can be an incredible challenge working in some of these environments of human and animal suffering. It is the whole team that enable me to do this; I am one cog in the wheel. But it is the privilege of being able to carry out this charity work which really fires me. It is a huge honour to receive an IFAW award.”
Luke is the founder of two international charities, Mission Rabies and Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS). As CEO of both organisations, he has raised more than three million pounds to support the charities and associated projects around the world.
Through Mission Rabies, he hopes to eventually eliminate rabies from the world, beginning with a project to rid the Indian state of Goa of the disease within the next three years to protect humans and animals from its deadly effects.
So far the charity has vaccinated one street dog every four minutes, reaching 60,000 dogs in the first month alone.
He also founded Worldwide Veterinary Services (WVS), which supports smaller charities or projects around the world with volunteer teams, free veterinary drugs supplies and equipment, as well as free veterinary advice. Projects supported to date include providing domestic animal shelters in Greece, horse welfare projects in Gambia and exotic conservation projects in Grenada and India.
Azzedine Downes, President and CEO of IFAW, said: “Luke’s commitment to saving animals both at home and in some of the toughest environments around the world is commendable. He is a great example of animal welfare in action and is a very deserving winner of IFAW’s vet of the year award.”