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Meet our Trustees: Neil Smith

Trustee Neil Smith and his dog Fire

Why did you choose to volunteer for Blue Cross?

I am passionate about animal welfare, and becoming a Trustee of Blue Cross was a great opportunity to do something about it.

What are your duties in your role as a Blue Cross Trustee?

I am a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, which helps to ensure there is good governance within the charity, a vitally important role in the current environment of charity scrutiny.

I have also been on the Service Delivery Committee since I joined, and now chair it. The inputs and management of Blue Cross are important, but it's raison d'etre is the services it delivers; rehoming, veterinary care, behaviour, the Pet Bereavement Support Service and education.

What is your professional background?

I've been a vet since 1989, and also an army officer. The soldiers who work with animals really love and respect them, and I have always been an advocate of animal welfare.

I am also a past president and council member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. 

For how long have you been a Trustee for Blue Cross?

I was co-opted in 2011 and first elected in 2012.

What do you enjoy most about being a Blue Cross Trustee?

Knowing the great work the Blue Cross does. It's people, employees and volunteers, are absolutely dedicated to helping pets, and the Trustees role is to make sure they have the resources to deliver that help to more and more animals.

Do you have any of your own pets?

My pet is Fire, she is a retired bomb detection dog who served in Afghanistan. She was unfortunately blown up in 2012, but has made a great recovery and was excellently cared for by the dedicated personnel of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.

She is a little bit famous, having been asked to be the mascot for Team GB at the Invictus Games in 2012. She was photographed with Prince Harry in Hello magazine and was interviewed by Clare Balding on The One Show in September 2014. She has also met Kate Humble (is mentioned in her new book, Friend for Life) and was interviewed by Peter Purves in the dog arena at BBC Countryfile Live in August 2016.

She has her own FaceBook page and Twitter account, @Fireexmwd

— Page last updated 23/09/2016