Editorial Note: This is part of a series highlighting recipients of Lady Freethinker’s Urgent Need Fund 2023 grant program, created to help nonprofit organizations working on projects to rescue or care for animals, or raise awareness to improve the way animals are treated. Learn more about the program and how to apply here.

Louis was alone and terrified, living in a Borneo rubbish dump when Nicky Stevens first saw the malnourished pup while conducting a population survey on the island. 

He had never known love or kindness. His whole life had been filled with cruelty, neglect, and trauma,” said Stevens, founder and CEO of International Aid for Protection and Welfare of Animals (IAPWA), in a recent interview with Lady Freethinker. 

Eight years later, Louis lives with Stevens and her rescue cat, Summer. He is a proud supporter of his mom and the IAPWA team who have diligently worked to save thousands of dogs since the organization’s founding in 2009.

Today, IAPWA spearheads a variety of programs on Borneo, Penang Island, and Romania where they not only provide veterinary care for stray animals and facilitate international adoptions, but also form partnerships with numerous global animal-welfare organizations. These collaborations are all driven by a common goal: to foster a more compassionate world for animals.

Louis On A Hike

Louis On A Hike With Stevens (Courtesy of Nicky Stevens | IAPWA)

IAPWA has not only saved thousands of dogs, it has also changed the culture surrounding stray dogs on Penang Island, Malaysia, one of their rescue locations. 

Prior to IAPWA’s involvement, the area’s government practiced inhumane methods of dog population control, including mass killings known as “culling.” Since IAPWA began partnering with Penang Island’s government, spaying and neutering stray dogs has taken priority, and zero dogs have been killed by the government. 

In 2022 alone, nearly 7,000 dogs that would have previously lost their lives were neutered, vaccinated, and rehomed by IAPWA. 

Dogs in the Care of IAPWA

Dogs in the Care of IAPWA (Courtesy of Nicky Stevens, IAPWA)

Stevens attributes her organization’s phenomenal success to her incredible team and the dedicated animal lovers worldwide who support their life-saving work. 

And that’s where Lady Freethinker’s supporters come in. Without your generosity, the $6,200 toward their life-saving work awarded via the Urgent Need Fund (UNF) wouldn’t have been possible. 

The funds will go directly to their spay/neuter and vaccination program, saving the lives of 200 dogs on Penang Island. 

“This charity began with one stray dog,” Stevens told us. “It is a testament to the difference that can be made when animal lovers join forces to create a better future for animals in need.”

We encourage you to delve deeper into the work of IAPWA. Engage with them through their Facebook page, explore their website, and discover how you can contribute to our shared mission. 

We are proud to stand alongside IAPWA in their life-saving pursuits, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to our supporters for making this grant a reality.