Assisi Animal Health was set up by Liane Donovan who has spent the past 30 years as a communications professional but has always had a passion for animal health and welfare. She is a
longstanding supporter of animal rescue and welfare groups both in New Zealand and internationally. As well as fostering SPCA animals, Liane also boards Guide Dogs and works with dog rescue organisations.
As a fully qualified Animal Homeopath (Diploma in Animal Homeopathy from the College of Natural Health and Homeopathy, Auckland) and Animal Reiki Practitioner (Level 1 and 2), Liane is now fulfilling her dream of assisting animals with their health and wellbeing. She is also an Executive Member on New Zealand Council of Homeopaths.
In 2009 Liane was introduced to the horrors of bear bile farming through a SPCA/Animals Voice magazine fundraising initiative to support Animals Asia in the rescue of a bear from one of China’s bear bile farms. Shocked by the unbelievable cruelty Liane donated to the campaign and was invited by then SPCA CEO, Bob Kerridge, to travel to China to meet the rescued bear and spend time with Animals Asia founder, Jill Robinson, at the China bear sanctuary in Chengdu. The bear was to be named Assisi, after the Patron Saint of Animals, St Francis of Assisi.
Like thousands of Moon Bears in China and Vietnam, Assisi had been incarcerated in a coffin-like cage so small he couldn’t stand or turn over. He had a steel catheter punched into his gall bladder for milking his bile. This is the life for thousands of bears in China and Vietnam – imprisoned and tortured until their poor sick bodies give up the fight.
But Assisi was one of the lucky ones – he finally experienced freedom at Animals Asia Chengdu bear sanctuary, with the sun on his back and grass under his paws. He found friends and spent his days playing, exploring, eating delicious food and just snoozing in the shade. Sadly, after years of confinement and abuse, Assisi’s health problems caught up with him and he passed away only 10 months after his rescue.
Losing Assisi was heartbreaking but this beautiful bear was the inspiration for Liane to work with animals of all kinds.
Liane continues to work with Animals Asia to support its fundraising initiatives in New Zealand in the hope that all bears will eventually be freed.