WHO WE ARE
Green Paw Project was founded by Stephen Chesters (UK) and Jochem Lastdrager (Netherlands), who met whilst volunteering at a dog sanctuary in Thailand. They immediately connected and began to talk at length about a project that would utilise their shared passion for animals.
Jochem, a qualified vet, spent the last 9 years offering his skills for free to various animal welfare projects. He has travelled all over the world in search of suffering wildlife, occasionally managing ventures himself in order to extend his reach and perpetuate the aid he offers. Jochem is the founder of The Travelling Animal Doctors, and arranged numerous successful projects. You can see their great work on their website: http://www.travellinganimaldoctors.org/
Seeing what Jochem had achieved, Stephen offered his unique business perspective and lifelong passion for animal welfare and environmental conservation. Together they created the Green Paw Project, determined to further the fervent work of The Travelling Animal Doctors.
Stephen Chesters, Wales, UK
“I was brought up in North Wales, UK, and I would eat meat or fish daily. A day without meat or fish would be alien to me. My childhood education rarely mentioned where my food was coming from, or the welfare and conditions of the animals I ate daily. I was also blind to the consequences that agriculture was having on our planet. Learning the realities of our food’s origins and the detrimental effects of meat and dairy industry subsequently drove me to creating Green Paw Project.
My goal is to spread awareness and plant positive ideas in the people I meet, not only to make people aware of the welfare of the farmed animals they eat, or the sea creatures and fish they consume, but also the catastrophic effects of agriculture.
My focus is also on the pet trade. No fellow living animal should be sold for profit. This causes overpopulation and unwanted domestic animals that need to be put in shelters or left to roam the streets and suffer, and sadly causes the demise of more endangered species, as they are taken from the wild to become pets.
My other objective is to raise awareness on a modern world issue; a loss of connection with nature. We all know that over the past few decades modern technology has become an integral part of human life and I think this is having a negative effect on our relationship with the natural world. This must change. We need to realise that now, in order to halt the demise of our beautiful and incredible planet.”
Jochem Lastdrager, Netherlands
“Over the past 3 years I have been lucky enough to travel around the world helping out local animal shelters, clinics, animal welfare projects and environmental research programs.I always liked travelling and, like many of us, I was often shocked by the condition animals were kept and treated all over the world.
During vet school I realised that, for me, helping animals should not be limited to a single vet practice. I wanted to help those animals that are neglected, abandoned, mistreated and to those whose owners simply cannot afford a vet, as well as helping wild animals suffering due to encroaching development. So, in 2012 right after graduation, I started my mission. I have been travelling and helping animals ever since.
During my goal of helping animals and volunteering on sustainable projects, I realised that there are more people out there who want to dedicate their time and skill to the cause. I discovered that we could be stronger and more efficient if we would join forces. By helping others in helping animals we can eventually make a bigger impact.
I want to help the animals on the streets, captured from the wild or otherwise suffer from human interference. The animals who cannot speak for themselves but do need a voice. Those animals, they are my mission!”