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The WORLDWIDE VETS GOLDEN STAR AWARD is an award for individuals who have made a great contribution to animal welfare or conservation. 

Our 2023 Finalists

The winner receives £250, plus £500 to a charity of their choice.


Thank you to all who Voted for our 2023 Nominees

Dr Sulaiman Tamer Saed - Kurdish Region of Iraq.

Winner of the Worldwide Vets Golden Star Award 2023.

Also the winner of the public vote, with 2340 website votes, and 96 Facebook votes, we are delighted to highlight his extraordinary work.

Dr Suleiman Tameer founded KOARP ( in 2009. A veterinary surgeon that grew up in Kurdistan and developed a deep compassion for animals he saw day to day, he funds the majority of KOARP's work himself, with additional funding coming from small grants and much-needed donations. His nominees among many wonderful compliments said “He spends his entire life in service to animals and goes to great lengths, often crossing dangerous conflict areas, to deliver food, and medicines and even find shelter outside of the country for dogs who do not have a home”.

Dr Rakan Salous – West Bank

Runner-up of the Worldwide Vets Golden Star Award 2023.

Chosen by the Worldwide Vets Ethics Committee

A close contender for the people’s vote, with 1018 website votes, 126 FB votes, and a whopping 980 separate nominations for this award. The scale of his commitment, duration of his service, professionalism of conduct, and the challenging environment in which he works, make the Dr Rakan Salous stand out to our ethics team as a runner-up for this award.

Dr Rakan Salous works at Safe Haven for Donkeys ( and has spent 12 years providing lifesaving care to working equids. Despite the recent challenges in the area, they continue to run all 3 of their mobile clinics. His nominees praised his dedicated ongoing support of donkeys, striving to improve animal welfare, and a lifetime of dedication to the animals in his country.

Emily Elgar – Gambia

Runner-up of the Worldwide Vets Golden Star Award 2023.

Chosen by the Worldwide Vets Ethics Committee

Emily Elgar works at the Gambia Horse and Donkey Trust ( As a vet nurse, Emily’s dedicated commitment to the animals of Gambia, her passion, her desire to improve education, support for the local community and their animals, made Emily our chosen runner-up for this award. Among those who felt she was deserving, these beautiful words described her commitment: “To some people healing animals is a job, to Emily it is her life. She shows true compassion, kindness and gentleness that is extended to animals and people. Each animal is special to Emily and she will try to save them at any cost. She has proven one person can make a difference to this world”.

This year we were delighted to have over 5,000 nominations for 58 amazing people, and 10,342 of you cast your vote. The 2023 nominees are dedicated animal advocates working at the forefront of welfare and conservation in a range of countries not limited to Peru, Aleppo, Romania, India, USA, Ukraine, Nicaragua, Austria, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, Germany, China, UK, Pakistan, West Bank, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Israel, Spain, Australia, Liberia, Ghana and Zambia.

Each year this award provides a beautiful insight into the work being done by people who are dedicated to serving animals. It is a chance to celebrate commitment, compassion, and hard work for great causes. The nominations are humbling and heartwarming, highlighting the selflessness of so many, and all the good there is in this world. Each nominee is incredibly deserving, and picking a winner and runner-up was tough. Every single person nominated for this award is a hero and an inspiration for the future generation of animal lovers and we commend them for their work. We are so thankful to have had a chance to celebrate them. Each nominee through to the public voting stage will receive a certificate of appreciation for their amazing work.

Thank you to everyone who got involved, and we look forward to next year's award!

If you hover over each image a short description of their work will appear. To read about the work they have been nominated for in detail check out the description on each image in this album:

A Glance To The Past

Your 2022 winner was Louise Hastings who is working in Bulgaria. Louise stood out to our ethics team as an exemplary individual who puts animal welfare at the core of everything she does, as she strives to develop sustainable and reliable projects to help animals in need. Louise is a graduating veterinarian and has coordinated hundreds of dog and cat rescues as well as stray animal sterilisations and treatments. Her colleagues describe her as driven, compassionate and a pleasure to work alongside.​

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The two runners up in 2022 were: 

  • Akosua Kumi Nyarko is a final year vet student in Ghana. Between her studies she champions animal welfare and veterinary outreach work, last year leading World Rabies Day vaccine drives and conceiving “The Animal Aider Project (TAAP)”. She is described as hard working, committed and kind to her peers and all animals.

  • Jo Welsby was a veterinary nurse for 20 years and is based in the UK. She has a been focused on animal welfare and fundraises independently for both UK animal welfare charities and also overseas Animal welfare charities. Currently working for Cats protection, she fundraises for 5 different Cyprus charities in addition to many in the UK and spends her free time volunteering to help animals.


Both ladies showed an amazing passion for animal care and supporting their colleagues and communities, having committed their lives to animals. They have gone above and beyond for animals in need. Thank you to everyone who nominated this year, and a huge congratulations to every single nominee. This is a heart warming and very inspiring award to host and we hope you too are inspired by the amazing people in this world working towards improving animal medicine, welfare and conservation in so many different ways. Each nominee brings their own energy, experience and skills to the table to make a positive impact to the world around them.

Your 2022 Nominees

Discover more about each person by heading to our Facebook album

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