Sheri Speede, DVM
Sheri Speede, DVM is Director of IDA-Africa and the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center. Located in Cameroon’s Mbargue Forest, Dr. Speede and her staff provide sanctuary for chimpanzees orphaned by the illegal ape meat trade. In collaboration with the government of Cameroon, she leads IDA-Africa in a public education campaign aimed at preventing the extinction of chimpanzees and gorillas.
Dr. Speede was aware at an early age that she wanted to work with animals. She qualified as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University and began practicing in 1985. She moved to the Portland, Oregon area in 1988 where she soon became a partner in Pacific Veterinary Hospital, a successful southwest Portland practice. She sold her interest in the veterinary practice in 1995 so she could commit her time to animal activism.
Dr. Speede co-founded the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, a non-profit organization dedicated to humanely reducing the population of feral cats through spaying and neutering. As Northwest Director of In Defense of Animals she advocated for companion animals, as well as victims of biomedical research, factory farming and circuses. Additionally, she was able to provide veterinary care to animals in sanctuaries. She travelled twice to Cameroon, Africa in 1997 to work with primates and these two trips changed the course of her life.
Since 1998 Dr. Speede has lived in Cameroon. She founded the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center and In Defense of Animals-Africa (IDA-Africa) with a mission to ensure that endangered chimpanzees survive in their natural habitats.