The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has recognised our founder, Dr Elisabeth Svendsen, as part of its 60th-anniversary celebrations.

To commemorate 60 years of championing high equine health and welfare standards, BEVA has highlighted '60 Faces' who have helped inspire, develop, and advance the equine veterinary profession.

BEVA members nominated hundreds of individuals, from which the Trustees made a final decision selecting 60 people as examples of those who have made an impact on the profession.

Dr Svendsen founded The Donkey Sanctuary in 1969. Since then, we have grown from a charity rescuing UK donkeys from neglect and abuse to an international welfare organisation transforming the lives of millions of donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them for a living.

Dr Svendsen was awarded the MBE in 1981 for her services to donkeys and mules. She received an Honorary Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery in 1992, and in 2009 was awarded a degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Edinburgh.

David Mountford, CEO at BEVA, said: "It was incredibly hard to select 60 people from all the worthy nominees we received. But Dr Svendsen had a huge impact on the life of donkeys around the world and as a consequence on the equine veterinary profession."

Our Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Alex Thiemann, says: "Dr S and her work have been a huge personal inspiration for me and countless other vets who love donkeys.

"The range and depth of her vision now inspire a global charity at the forefront of equid welfare. I had the privilege to know her and enjoy her company. She had a great sense of humour and huge work ethic and ensured donkeys always came 1st, 2nd and 3rd."

Dr Svendsen died in May 2011, aged 81, but her legacy continues through the work of our staff and volunteers and, of course, our wonderful supporters.