Working Partnerships

Working Partnerships


PDC logo“Public perception is a driving force of extinction. PDC therefore combines direct action strategies with education and awareness programmes, creating an environment whereby the dogs can move in status from ‘perceived pest’ to ‘best loved animal’.”

Vision – Create a Conservation Model that will make a lasting contribution to the future of Painted Dogs and the lives of the local people.

Mission Statement – Painted Dog Conservation’s mission is to protect and increase the range and numbers of painted dogs through hands on conservation, education, community involvement and international support.

Our belief is that conservation does not occur on an island. Our objective is to undertake a holistic approach that encompasses all the stakeholders, particularly school children and local communities.

Painted Dog Conservation offers a holistic programme with five components

  • Research
  • Direct conservation of the dogs
  • Conservation education
  • Capacity building for the future
  • Community development


Wildlife Vets InternationalWildlife Vets International was formed by a group of experienced zoo and wildlife vets in 2004 to give conservation workers the veterinary support and skills they need and to reverse the decline of some of the world’s most endangered animals. The charity is now in a unique position to provide independent specialist veterinary support to any project, anywhere in the world, including education and training of people who live and work in the animals’ natural range.

Projects include:

  • Amur leopard health
  • Support for Painted Dogs (aka African Wild Dogs)
  • Monkey rehabilitation facility, Nigeria

Following the introduction of PDC and WVI by joint Patron, Steve Leonard, and the donation of a grant to PDC to build a veterinary clinic, WVI Trustees asked associated vet, Brigadier Tom Ogilvie-Graham to visit PDC on the ground in Zimbabwe in February 2010 to see how the money had been spent and to assist the project in holding the first vet clinics for the local communities, in association with Dr Zishiri, the Zimbabwean Government vet for Hwange District . With the generous support of Intervet, Brigadier Ogilvie-Graham was able to take out many of the necessary vaccines, drugs, dewormers, deflea powders etc to carry out required treatments.

Dr Tom Ogilvie-Graham with sedated wild dog

Peter Blinston, project manager of PDC, ensured the support of Dr Zishiri, the safe passage of drugs and treatments through Customs, the support of four local vet technicians, the setting up and smooth running of five clinics in local communities.

The visit was an unqualified success and a great example of real partnership. It proved the local need for such vet clinics and engendered excellent relations towards PDC. The conservation benefits are undoubted – A healthy domestic dog population in terms of all, or as many as possible, being vaccinated against rabies and distemper reduces the likelihood of such diseases getting into the wildlife populations.

Now a second visit is planned in June 2012 by both Brigadier Ogilvie-Graham and Steve Leonard, with additional vet clinics being set up by PDC throughout the local community. This joint venture has very generously been part-funded by activities run by Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Steve comments:

I first introduced Wildlife Vets International to Painted Dog Conservation so that one could help the other to conserve this iconic creature. This trip is going to give me a real chance to see an excellent conservation project in action and also assist local vets to protect these wonderful dogs and local people who live alongside them.


Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP) is home to three painted dogs, who are part of the European breeding programme. Established in 2009, it is part of YWP’s vision to become a dynamic conservation centre, working with communities at home and around the world to help save habitats and wildlife. Since a visit by Dr. Greg Rasmussen, founder and Project Director of PDC, the management team at YWP made the painted dog one of their four flagship species and have been very supportive of PDC UK both with their education schemes at the park, educating the visiting public on the plight of the dogs in the wild, and with selling craft work made by the projects Art Centre in their gift shop. In 2011, YWP further extended its support for PDC by creating its SOS Painted Dog campaign, aiming to raise £12,000 to allow the joint WVI/PDC vet visit to take place in June 2012.

Press Release: Thursday 11th August 2011



BBC Vets in the Wild Presenter, Steve Leonard, today announced the launch of Yorkshire’s award-winning wildlife park’s nationwide campaign to help prevent Africas most endangered large carnivore, the painted dog, from extinction.

Painted Dogs SOS launch at Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Painted Dogs SOS launch at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

The Park has teamed up with Painted Dog Conservation, and is spearheading a campaign to send veterinary experts to Africa to vaccinate and treat diseased domestic dogs who are a source of disease to the endangered painted dogs, thus stopping the chain of disease transmission.

Alongside Wildlife Vets International, YWP is supporting the SOS Painted Dog campaign to raise funds to send vets out to Zimbabwe for the 7 day trip, during which they will hold mobile clinics for domestic dogs, vaccinating them against rabies and distemper, de-worming and de-fleaing them.

“I am delighted that two of the charities of which I am patron have joined Yorkshire Wildlife Park to raise money for a cause close to my heart.” said Steve Leonard.

Mass fundraising for the estimated 12k project will now commence as veterinary experts gear up to transport vital medicines and surgical instruments for use across the 12 planned clinics.

Experts will also work with PDC on their in-house clinic and training field staff in painted dog first aid, advising on the set up of their clinic, and providing equipment for the clinic.

Director of YWP, Cheryl Williams, is honoured to be spearheading the campaign.

“The Painted Dog is one of the most amazing and intelligent animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park,” says Cheryl. “Famed as relentless and successful hunters, yet they are one of the only animals that will care for the injured, the old and young, bringing back food and tending their wounds. Their whole survival depends on the dogs working together. Persecuted in the wild by man, they now face a silent danger from disease passed on by domestic dogs. Help us fund an international rescue effort to send out a team of vets to counter this threat we are only looking to raise 12,000 for the first wave of help, so every donation, however small will be critically important.”

The SOS Painted Dog Campaign is just the latest in a stream of Conservation projects the wildlife park is involved with in its mission to preserve and protect endangered species.


Chester Zoo logo
A joint application by Painted Dog Conservation and Wildlife Vets International to Chester Zoo for a Conservation and Research grant in 2011 was successful. Chester Zoo have now added their funding to the joint WVI/PDC project to finish and fit out the vet clinic at PDC’s Rehabilitation Centre and to protect painted dogs from disease (particularly canine distemper) transmitted by domestic dogs that range around and through Hwange National Park by vaccinating up to 1200 domestic dogs across 7 community based clinics.