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Blankets for Baby Rhinos: Spreading the Word at London Vet Show

Since starting out as a Facebook Group in 2016 with the aim, in founder Elisa Best’s words, ‘to knit a few blankets for orphaned baby rhinos’, things have gone from strength to strength for Blankets for Baby Rhinos, now a registered UK charity with over 3,000 members worldwide. Their latest accolade was a spot on the shortlist for the IDEXX Charity Giveaway at this year’s London Vet Show, where they received £406 of the £1,000 IDEXX Charity Giveaway.

When Elisa Best, an Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery at Rowe Veterinary Referrals, set up the Facebook group with her friend Sue Brown, the group focussed mainly on baby rhinos. The blankets would provide warmth and comfort for the animals while the act of knitting them would help to raise awareness of their cause: rhinos are at risk of extinction due to the high demand for their horns.

As the group grew in popularity, with new members cropping up from all around the world, they were soon knitting more blankets than were necessary, so decided to get involved in the care and conservation of other species. This included a project for elephants in Myanmar, which gained coverage by the New York Times.

They also set about making more than just blankets and now produce care packages for anti-poaching units across the globe. The group recently began fundraising, using their members’ knitting talent to make goods that can be sold or used as raffle prizes. They have raised funds for an array of great projects, including an enclosure for lions rescued from a Ukrainian circus.

‘Our founding principles are that we never give away cash, only goods,’ says Elisa. ‘I’m incredibly grateful that so many people at London Vet Show took the time to vote for us for the IDEXX Charity Giveaway. This money will go a long way in a charity like ours.’

To find out more about Blankets for Baby Rhinos or to get involved, you can visit their website. They have just launched an online shop – right in time for Christmas!

Congratulations to Elisa and Sue! We can’t wait for the future of Blankets for Baby Rhinos to unfold.

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