Rescuing Wildlife Brings Award To Shetland Sanctuary

by Alastair Hamilton -

Decades of valuable work by the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary has been recognised by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at a ceremony at the House of Lords.

Jan Bevington set up the sanctuary in 1987 when she rescued a seal pup abandoned on the beach just below her house in the village of Hillswick, which lies in Shetland's north-west mainland. Word of the facility quickly spread and, over the years, the sanctuary has been a temporary but welcoming home to many seals and otters, featuring in television programmes such as Simon King's Shetland Diaries. With her husband, Pete, and volunteers, Jan also helps with other wildlife rescue work, for example when whales, dolphins or porpoises get into trouble in inshore waters around the islands.

IFAW President and CEO, Azzedine Downes, congratulating the winners of the awards, said:

“I am always thoroughly amazed at the uplifting tales of animal welfare in action that we celebrate at the International Fund for Animal Welfare"s (IFAW) annual Animal Action Awards ceremony at the House of Lords. This is always one of the most highly anticipated events on the IFAW UK office calendar."
“The awards give us and our supporters the opportunity to draw attention to just some of the many unsung heroes who toil endlessly to improve the lives of animals. They are an inspiration to us and to many others who hear about these individuals" dedication."
"These stories give us a chance, as well, to reflect on the unique relationships between animals and people, which further enforces that our work to improve animal welfare is so vitally important.”

Also present to hand over the awards and congratulate Jan and the other winners were Baroness Gale and naturalist, broadcaster and regular Shetland visitor Bill Oddie.

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