Dinah Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury and small animal veterinarian, has become the first patron of the Worldwide Veterinary Service – thanks, in part, to an article in Veterinary Times.
Dinah Ashley-Cooper, Countess of Shaftesbury and small animal veterinarian, has become the first patron of the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) – thanks, in part, to an article in Veterinary Times.
Dr Ashley-Cooper qualified as a vet in 2005, graduating from the University of Leipzig, and subsequently conducted orthopaedics research before working for PDSA. She became the Countess of Shaftesbury last September when she married the 12th Earl, Nicholas Ashley-Cooper. She is currently on maternity leave.
According to Dr Ashley-Cooper, she initially joined the WVS after reading about the Dorset-based charity in the market-leading veterinary publication, Veterinary Times.
Explaining her interest, she said: “The WVS is incredible as it gives people the opportunity to get actively involved in countries where animal welfare is essential.
“I read an article in Veterinary Times in 2007 about the involvement of the WVS in a charity in Botswana. It was a neutering project for cats and dogs where vets and non-vet volunteers could get involved. It seemed like a very well organised trip and the charity appeared to be making a huge difference to animal welfare. I was very intrigued and ended up on their webpage and became a member instantaneously.”
She added: “It is important to support charities that you believe in and where you feel you can make a worthwhile contribution. Obviously with my background as a veterinary surgeon I feel particularly drawn to the WVS. I can see what a huge difference to animal welfare they make.”
Dr Ashley-Cooper officially became the first patron of the charity on March 29, 2011, of which WVS founder Luke Gamble said: “We are very fortunate to have the support of the Countess, who I know will be a fantastic ambassador for the charity, particularly given her veterinary background and compassion for animals. Her involvement will be a huge benefit to WVS and the team are all looking forward to working with her.”