Animals Without Limits (AWL) was founded in 1999 by Mia Mattsson-Mercer, noted Swedish animal psychiatrist, author, and lecturer after she attended a conference on the management of stray animals, spaying and neutering in Sophia Bulgaria.
Here’s her story…
Mia was born in Malmo Sweden in 1964. She moved to Stockholm and lived there from 1992. During that time Mia became an expert in Horse Massage and Animal Communication. Her work in this field took all over the world, working with diverse groups of clients including royal families, Grand Prix rider, and zoos. As she traveled she noticed more and more the plights of stray animals. And she felt increasingly compelled to document and address the situation of animals living on the streets and those barely surviving in war zones. She eventually decided that this was her calling. So, she put her old career on hold, founded AWL, and moved to Sarajevo, Bosnia where she stayed from 1999-2001 working with animals left behind by the war.
Mia has dedicated her life to working with animals in both chronic and acute crisis. She has worked in the US, Germany, Switzerland, Bosnia, Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Bahrain. Most recently Mia and AWL’s focus has been (although not exclusively) on Southern Italy’s Campania Region. In 2010 AWL opened the first hospice for senior dogs in Campania, Casa dell’ Amore.
In 2011, Mia was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. She struggled for years to get the proper treatment and it was not until she found a great clinic in Augsburg, Germany that she was able to get her condition under control. As a result, she has become an advocate for those suffering from the disease.
Mia is currently living near Stuttgart, Germany caring for the animals of her private sanctuary (10 dogs, one sick foster dog, five rats, two lizards, five fish, one chicken and a horse –two more horses coming soon). She is now working with AWL to fulfill a dream of creating fully-functioning Animal Sanctuary/Clinic. Additionally, she continues to travel around Europe lecturing on the subject of Animal Behavior and Communications. And she began teaching Animal Studies to English-speaking children in Germany September 2017.
Mia is also very proud to be raising her two children, Olivia and Max, who have been doing rescue missions since they were able to walk and are following in her footsteps as animal lovers, rescuers, and advocates.
Mia is the author of three books published in Swedish, (Lyssna när djuren talar, Föra djurens talan and Lär dig ta emot djurens budskap.) She is currently working on two new manuscripts. One is about her journey through life after being abused and bullied as a child and her struggle to overcome the trauma…learning to trust and to fight for herself. The other is about embracing and learning from the wisdom of animals.
Since 2010–2017 she wrote animal columns every second week for the Swedish Magazine Nära.
In her spare time (whenever she can grab some) Mia loves to paint, read and travel.
Her childhood dream is to become an “at large” global Ambassador for the Animals for a body like the UN. She’s ready with passion and experience. Now she just needs a sponsor.
Her signature has been for the last year; Empowerment, Faith, Hope, Compassion, Loyalty and “That’s Amore”!
“My mission is to rescue. My dream is that one day, I won’t have to.”