My name is Henna Pekko, I'm the clinic manager at VetCare.
In December, I volunteered in Tonga to help the South Pacific Animal Welfare Group (SPAW). SPAW organises groups of Veterinarians & Veterinary Nurses to travel to Tonga to provide animal aid and desexing.
Tonga currently has no veterinary care, vaccinations, pet supplies, parasite control and much more, so a lot of animals end up in some seriously bad situations, with no resources to help them. We delivered free veterinary services to all those in need; in total we did 150 surgeries; spey's & neuter's, 2 amputations and 1 exploratory laparotomy all in the space of 6 days!
Not only did I enjoy the surgical challenges and teaching the students but mainly took joy in educating the community about how to treat and care for their animals.
I returned to New Zealand feeling extremely lucky and privileged for what we can do for our animals here. It was an experience that I would recommend to anyone. Even if it isn't in the medical side, there is always ways you can get involved. Check out the Give A Little page for SPAW and thank you for all your donations at VetCare's Dog & Grog event in November, that went towards buying medications allowing us to help even more animals!
Keep an eye out for another fundraiser for SPAW that we will be doing at one of our Dog & Grog later on this year.