Xabat, the world’s first guide dog for a blind man without arms, La Palma vets and Father Angel, VI animal welfare awards

This Wednesday saw the VI edition of the Animal Welfare Awards organized by the College of Veterinary Doctors of Madrid (COLVEMA), awards of national importance that were born in 2015. recognize the work of those who work to promote the welfare and quality of life of animals and that every year they also award an exceptional animal.

“The purpose of the awards we present today is two-fold: to recognize and encourage the work of institutions, companies and people in promoting animal welfare and improving the quality of life of animals and also that of emphasize and disseminate the important role that animals play to improve the quality of life of citizens,” explained Felipe Vilas, president of COLVEMA, in his opening speech.

In this edition, which is managed by the editor-in-chief of 20 minutes and coordinator of the Animaleros section Melissa Tuya, the winners were Father Ángel, award for the person committed to the welfare of animals, the veterinarians who saved the animals from the La Palma volcano, and the guide dog Xabat.

“This is an unusual animal, with extraordinary sensitivity,” said his trainer from the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation, Elisenda Stewart, when she received the award. east a three-year-old black labrador, who spends more time than usual in the arms of his educational family due to the pandemic, is now the partner with whom he takes long walks around Teruel Alberto Villalba, a young man whose life is changed by the explosion of a device from the Civil War. life. Is for for the first time in the world, a dog managed to adapt and give autonomy to a blind man without arms.

Rafael Languens, President of the World Veterinary Association, Elisenda Stewart of the ONCE Guide Dog Foundation and Alberto Villalba with Habat.
EFE/Sergio Perez

The award, which corresponds to the company or institution, went to the veterinarians of La Palma, who since the volcano erupted a year ago from Cumbre Vieja carried out months of work in a situation of unprecedented risk. Almost 4000 animals have saved their lives thanks to them.

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

after your words Marissa Fernandez invited Felipe Vilas on stage and gave him a vestthe same one worn by the vets 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 receive the award by Cesar Bravo, a veterinarian from La Palma.
Marisa Fernandez, President of the Veterinary College of Tenerife, was accompanied to receive the award by Cesar Bravo, member of the Veterinary College of La Palma.
EFE/Sergio Perez

The recognition of a person committed to the welfare and care of animals went to this edition of Father Angel, a lover of animals, which he considers a balm against loneliness and always receives with a blessing, especially on Saint Anthony’s day.

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

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

The event was closed by Raphael Langens, President of the World Veterinary Association, who concluded by suggesting that “perhaps these awards deserve an award”. Also participates 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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