Joanna Toole recognised with posthumous RSPCA award

PUBLISHED: 10:43 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:48 28 June 2019

Joanna Toole. Picture: Adrian Toole

Joanna Toole. Picture: Adrian Toole

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Adrian Toole accepted the award on behalf of his daughter Joanna, who was killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash in March this year

Joanna's father Adrian Toole, centre, with John Bishop and vet Rory Cowlam. Picture: Andrew ForsythJoanna's father Adrian Toole, centre, with John Bishop and vet Rory Cowlam. Picture: Andrew Forsyth

The Exmouth animal welfare campaigner Joanna Toole, who tragically died in the Ethiopean Airlines crash in March this year, has been recognised with a posthumous RSPCA Honours award for her work creating a safer world for animals.

Her father Adrian Toole accepted the award on Joanna's behalf at the RSPCA Honours event held in London last night (Thursday 27 June.)

Joanna, 36, worked for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and had an unwavering passion for animal protection.

She was travelling to Kenya to head a panel discussing possible solutions to the problem of derelict fishing equipment in the sea, when the plane crashed near Bishoftu, six minutes after take off, killing all 157 people on board.

Joanna received many nominations for the RSPCA Honours award, including one from her colleague and friend Claire Bass, executive director of the Humane Society International.

Claire said: "This award is an immensely fitting tribute to an incredible young woman, who achieved so much and left such a positive, permanent mark on the world. I hope that this award, Jo's story and her successes, will be an inspiration to all aspiring young campaigners, showing that hard work, passion, and investment and belief in people really can change the world for animals."

Mr Toole said: "Joanna's family and her partner Paul are very proud to receive the posthumous award from the RSPCA. From early in life Joanna had the one mission, to protect animals from suffering, and she fully shared the values of the RSPCA. In later years her work concentrated on the marine environment but either at work or in her private life there was no injured, mistreated, or lost animal whose cause she would not take up.

"A deep sense of justice and fairness underlaid Joanna's whole character and thus her instinct in word and action was to defend all creatures that would otherwise remain voiceless."

Mr Toole was presented with the award by Rory Cowlam, vet and CBBC star, alongside 13 other awards, at the ceremony hosted by comedian John Bishop. The RSPCA Honours recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to animal welfare, or animals who have made fantastic achievements.

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