She’s worked at a Thai hotel with a resident elephant, volunteered to provide veterinary care for animals in the Pacific Islands and has tended to many of Waiheke’s furry friends. Now qualified vet nurse Glenda Gouws is taking up the helm as the new Animal Welfare Advocate at Waiheke Island Society for the Care of Animals (Wisca). 

Glenda focuses on rescuing and caring for neglected or abandoned animals and offering advice, practical support and simple solutions to animal owners.  

The vet nurse, who’s also a dog mum to rescued huntaway Robbie, says that besides a few responsible dog ownership concerns and stray cats in rural areas, the island’s most obvious issue is lost or wandering animals. Animals getting left behind or needing a new home when an owner’s circumstances change is also an issue.

“Due to Wisca’s history of good desexing and rehoming programmes, we have fewer problems with unwanted kittens and puppies, but adult animals do roam or are sometimes left homeless when lifestyle or house rental situations change or people go into hospital, rest homes or pass away.”

Glenda says her work is about developing community awareness and helping owners to understand animal behaviours to reduce roaming. She also works to encourage families to plan for life’s unpredictabilities. •Sophie Boladeras

Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!

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