Health

Xabat, the world’s first guide dog for a blind man without hands, the veterinarians of La Palma and Father Ángel, VI Animal Welfare Awards

This Wednesday the VI edition of the Animal Welfare Awards organized by the College of Veterinarians of Madrid (COLVEMA) took place, awards of national relevance that were born in 2015 for recognize the work of those who work to promote the welfare and quality of life of animals and that each year they also reward an exceptional animal.

“The objective of the awards that we present today fulfills a double task: to recognize and encourage the work of institutions, companies and people in promote animal welfare and improve the quality of life of animals and also that of highlight and spread the important role that animals play in improving the quality of life of citizens”, explained Felipe Vilas, president of COLVEMA, in his opening speech.

In this edition, which has been conducted by the chief editor of 20 minutes and coordinator of the section Animaleros Melisa Tuya, the winners have been Father Ángel, prize for the person committed to animal welfare, the veterinarians who rescued the animals from the La Palma volcano, and the Xabat guide dog.

“It is an unusual animal, with extraordinary sensitivity,” said its trainer from the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation, Elisenda Stewart, when collecting the award. East three year old black labrador, who spent more time than usual in the hands of his educational family due to the pandemic, is now the partner with whom he takes long walks through Teruel Alberto Villalba, a young man whose life was changed by the explosion of a Civil War device. life. Is about the first time in the world that a dog is able to adapt and give autonomy to a blind person without hands.

This Wednesday took place the VI edition of the Animal Welfare Awards organized by the College of Veterinarians of Madrid, awards that were born in 2015 to recognize the work of people, institutions and companies that work to promote well-being and the quality of life of the animals and that also reward an exceptional animal.  On this occasion the award went to Xabat, the first guide dog in the world to help a blind person without hands.  In the image, Xabat can be seen together with Alberto Villalba, a young man from Teruel who lost his hands and was seen by an artifact from the Civil War together with Elisenda Stewart, from the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation, and Rafael Languens, president of the World Association Vet.
Rafael Languens, president of the World Veterinary Association, Elisenda Stewart, from the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation and Alberto Villalba together with Xabat.
EFE/Sergio Perez

The prize that corresponds to the company or institution has gone to the veterinarians of La Palma, who after the eruption a year ago of the volcano of Cumbre Vieja carried out months of work in a situation of unprecedented risk. Almost 4,000 animals saved their lives thanks to them.

The award was presented by Isabel Rodríguez Hurtado, dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Alfonso X el Sabio University. she picked it up the president of the College of Veterinarians of Tenerife, Marisa Fernández Miguel, representing the entire veterinary profession on the islands and, especially, the veterinarians of La Palma. In his speech, Fernández recalled the help provided by veterinarians from all over Spain to deal with this emergency, which lasted for half a year: “This mention touches our soul. This would not have been possible without the dedication of the 130 fellow veterinarians and the solidarity of the rest of the veterinarians in Spain and of 28 professional associations”.

After your words, Marisa Fernández invited Felipe Vilas to the stage and gave him a vestthe same one carried by the veterinarians of La Palma, to represent all the colleagues who helped them from a distance.

María Luisa Fernández, president of the Veterinary College of Tenerife, was accompanied to collect the award by César Bravo, a veterinarian from La Palma.
Marisa Fernández, president of the Veterinary College of Tenerife, was accompanied to collect the award by César Bravo, member of the La Palma Veterinary College.
EFE/Sergio Perez

The recognition of the person committed to the welfare and care of animals has gone in this edition to Father Ángel, a lover of animals whom he considers a balm against loneliness and always receives with blessings, especially on Saint Antón’s day.

He collected the statuette from the president of the Official College of Veterinarians of Madrid, an award that, according to Father Ángel, “will be on the altar of the Church of San Antón, his place”, to later claim that we live in a society “full of values”, something that he defended can be seen in the treatment of many towards their animals.

Father Ángel with Felipe Vilas.
Father Ángel with Felipe Vilas.
Sergio Perez / EFE

The event was closed by Rafael Languens, president of the World Veterinary Association, who ended with the suggestion that “perhaps these awards deserve a prize”. He also participated in the closing ‘En clave de mu’, the choir of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid.

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