About Vafa’s Founder
Who is Vafa’s Founder?
Fatemeh Motamedi was born in Qazvin in 1950. She has a BA in English literature. She taught for eight years in high schools.
She loved animals since she was a kid, when she remembers suffering from seeing the injustice that animals bore. She was very sad when she saw the hunger, lack of shelter and abuse that stray dogs and cats went through. She was aware of the suffering and pain of other animals in slaughterhouses, zoos, circuses, clothing industry, laboratories and transportation and hunting. This is why, more than 40 years ago, she adopted non-violence toward animals as a method in her life and became a vegetarian.
Before founding the CAL (Center for Animal Lovers) in 2003, she worked with Dr. Marjani to castrate and feed the dogs in her own neighborhood.
After CAL was founded, she used a land that was gifted to her by her husband in Hashtgerd, Karaj to found the first animal shelter in Iran. With her own funds, she launched Vafa’s shelter in 2004.
Vafa is the first animal shelter in Iran and currently has two branches in Hashtgerd and Qazvin.
Fatemeh’s three children live in Canada and US and this is why she moved to Canada in 2008. Since then, she runs the shelter from abroad and by relying on the help of Vafa’s staff and volunteers in Iran.
In January 2010, Fatemeh launched Friends of the Center for Animal Lovers as a NGO in Toronto. This organization works to support Vafa abroad and is also known as “Friends of Vafa in Canada”. Much of its work is fund-raising for Vafa. It organizes summer and winter markets, garage sales and friendly gatherings and it takes part in other social and cultural events in Toronto to introduce Vafa to other Iranians. It also helps to find adopters for Vafa’s dogs abroad and organizes the sending of dogs from Iran to Canada, finding temporary and permanent shelter for them. Friends of Vafa in Canada benefits from dozens of hard-working volunteers.
Fatemeh Motamedi has translated five books to Persian which have been published.
Motamedi has also translated the guidebook of World Animal Protection (WAP), which is currently under publication.