All animals welcome.
March, 2019. Utrecht, the Netherlands.
In 1973, Peter Schuit came across a badly injured German shepherd that was lying by the side of the road. He decided to take the dog to a veterinarian. This simple action sparked a series of events that eventually led to the establishment of the Stichting Dierenambulance Kennemerland (Animal ambulance Kennemerland Foundation), or DAK, for short. DAK was founded in 1975 and expanded dramatically, allowing them to move into their first office space in 1994. This new space offered the start of a central communications command and allowed for short-term shelter for cats and dogs. A few years before moving to Heemskerk, the foundation was already planning for their biggest move yet – a brand new space where there is room for an office, a canteen with small kitchen, a central administration desk, plenty of room for sheltering animals temporarily and housing animals of volunteers on holiday, and two lecture rooms. This new building was built in 2000 and the volunteers of DAK moved in in January 2002. They have been there ever since with over a hundred volunteers in drivers, animal carers, administrative volunteers, the gardener and dispatchers, covering eight different boroughs; Limmen, Castricum, Akersloot, Uitgeest, Heemskerk, Beverwijk, Wijk aan Zee and Velsen-Noord.
With only the manager as a full-time employee, DAK runs entirely on volunteers. These 100+ volunteers return day after day for one thing only: to help animals. Why? Because, as they have put it, "all animals are welcome [here]".