Congratulations Dr Elaine – 2021 City of Boroondara Citizen of the Year

We are unbelievably proud of our founder, Dr Elaine Ong, who was awarded the 2021 City of Boroondara Citizens of the Year award in recognition of her exceptional contribution to the community!

For those of you who don’t know, Dr Elaine started doing animal welfare work as a volunteer vet in Bali, training vets who do welfare work for dogs. Her passion for helping animals affected by natural disasters started in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Sri Lanka. Ever since, Dr Elaine has tirelessly volunteered her time as a vet and expert wildlife rescuer to save and treat injured or displaced wildlife, specialising in the darting of injured or displaced kangaroos and wallabies in suburbia Victoria and in disaster zones.

Her work and team leadership has helped thousands of animals affected by floods and every major bushfires since 2009, including the Black Saturday bushfires, and more recently in the Mallacoota fires in January last year.

Not many people know that in 2009 Dr Elaine and her nurses together with ACTAsia, a charity based in London, founded a train the trainer program, training vets to perform high standard anaesthesia pain relief and desexing surgery, and rabies vaccinations programs on stray dogs and cats in China. This program has been self sustainable for 5 years.

Dr Elaine founded Vets For Compassion in 2016. She has built and empowered a team of volunteer vets, nurses, and rescuers to humanely capture and treat injured animals and assist in disaster relief work.

And that is all in her spare time! Dr Elaine is also a full time veterinarian with her own ASAVA accredited hospital of excellence in Balwyn, Victoria which is one of only 14 in Victoria, and the principal veterinary surgeon for Guide Dogs Victoria.

To say Dr Elaine deserves this recognition is an understatement. On behalf of us all, and the animals you work tirelessly to help, THANK YOU!