PURINA: Your Pet, Our Passion
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Meet Our 2020 Winners

Best Volunteer Team
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Best Volunteer Team

Joss Grieve and Helen Welsh of Christchurch



Joss and Helen are at the SPCA Centre multiple days of the week, helping in any way they can. No job is too big or too small for them, and they always come up with innovative ideas to help around the centre. This team make sure the animals have clean blankets, are stocked up on food, and have plenty of socialisation!

Together, they have allowed the expansion of the foster programme, which means the centre can help hundreds of animals in need. Leading up to the Level 4 lockdown, Joss and Helen helped with the mad rush to get many animals out to foster, which made such a difference to these animals’ lives.
Fantastic Foster Family
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Fantastic Foster Family

Tracey, Dave, and Tanesha Thompson of Waipukurau



Tracey, Dave and Tanesha have volunteered their skills and experience to help with equine rescue through the inspectorate. This family has helped the SPCA to transport, treat and rehome eleven horses since they started volunteering with us. They have collected horses from Dannevirke to Omahu and lots of places in between. Looking after horses, is hard work.

It is time consuming medicating, grooming, feeding and socializing these big animals. They also take up a lot of room! Tracey and her family have a lovely stable, grooming area, yards and pastures for our horses to stay in and enjoy. They supply covers, extra hard feeds, halters and anything else our horses may require. They do all this because they absolutely LOVE horses.
Most Devoted Volunteer
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Most Devoted Volunteer

Karen Sanson of Hamilton



Karen is not only a foster parent, but she saw how busy the centre was on Saturdays with the adoption rush, so decided to do something about it! She volunteered and helps on this day, and also created a roster of family and friends to help so the centre always has an extra pair of hands.

Karen doesn’t stop there; she loves to help fundraise! During lockdown, Karen had seven foster kittens, and she always take action to get things done. Karen is the type of volunteer who can be relied on 100% of the time and is truly exceptional.
Best Op Shop Team Volunteer
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Best Op Shop Team Volunteer

SPCA Second Chance Op Shop in Kamo (Whangarei)



The Second Chance Op Shop in Kamo is made up of a fabulous volunteer team. They have gone from strength to strength over the years, and every single day, a volunteer is going above and beyond of what is expected.

The shop is tidy, well-organised, and more streamlined in handling donations than ever before. Many volunteers in the store are retired and give up their time to share their talents and experience to keep the Op Shop running.
Going the Extra Mile
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Going the Extra Mile

David Orr of Nelson Op Shop



David is an exceptional worker – he is known to do the job of two people! He spreads good cheer when he works, and even when he is not rostered on, he stops in every day to check on the Op Shop to see if they need extra help.

David has been described as a ‘human dynamo’ who keeps the place running smoothly. He is often seen putting up shelving, sorting the first aid kit, bolting racks together, and fixing the fittings and fixtures. David is also devoted to his dog, Hope, and is never seen without her. His positive attitude and kindness of spirit inspire everyone he comes across.
Outstanding Young Volunteer
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Outstanding Young Volunteer

Kerenapu Winiata-Katting of Rotorua



Kere has been a great mentor to new recruits guiding and helping new volunteers to learn procedures and protocols at the SPCA Rotorua Centre, and is always reliable and confident in handling the animals. She is a strong advocate for animal welfare and promotes these messages positively in her whanau and community.

Kere demonstrates a high degree of compassion and empathy for all animals in our care. We truly appreciate her contribution to our organisation and enjoy having her here as part of the Rotorua SPCA team.

Meet Our 2019 Winners

Best Volunteer Team
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Best Volunteer Team

Lauren and Chris Phillips, SPCA Nelson



Weekend Supervisor Canine Assistant Trudi Hazlitt-Black nominated Lauren and Chris for the award. She said the couple are always thinking outside the box with fundraising, and fostering mother cat and kittens. “Chris and Lauren have been volunteers for four years, Chris with the dogs, and Lauren with the cats. They turn up every Saturday with a smile on their faces, always willing to help. Chris has even designed new areas around the centre, his input into our constructions has been invaluable,” says Kirsty.
Fantastic Foster Family
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Fantastic Foster Family

Anna Crum, SPCA Whangarei



Retail Manager for SPCA Op Shop in Kamo and Whangarei Alison Fromont nominated Anna for the award. She said Anna has helped provide care for hundreds of kittens over the years while also volunteering at the SPCA Second Chance Store. “Anna has dedicated herself to saving cats and kittens, literally saving the lives of hundreds of them. During the last kitten season, she fostered 114 kittens as well as some of the mother cats. She is such a compassionate person.”
Most Devoted Volunteer
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Most Devoted Volunteer

Valerie Garner, SPCA Auckland Centre



SPCA Supporter Care Administrator Zoe Baikie nominated Valerie for the award. She said Valerie has been part of the volunteer team since 2009, assisting the team with receipt and letter folding. “Our department could not operate without Valerie. She can fold and stuff 500 receipts in one day which is absolutely incredible. Valerie is quick, efficient, and has an eye for detail.” Valerie said she began volunteering because she wanted to help out in the best way she could, and because she always loved animals, she chose SPCA. “I have thoroughly enjoyed all the time I have had volunteering at SPCA. Volunteering is well worth your time, as you help the animals who can’t speak for themselves,” says Valerie. “I have lots of memories of my time volunteering that all come together to form a huge happy picture, which is how I think of my time volunteering at SPCA. If I had to give up volunteering, I’d be heartbroken, I really would.”
Best Op Shop Team Volunteer
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Best Op Shop Team Volunteer

Catherine Ashby, SPCA Dannevirke Op Shop



SPCA Napier Area manager Bruce Wills nominated Catherine for the award. He said that Catherine recognised the potential of the SPCA Dannevirke Op Shop, and breathed new life into the shop by taking up the managerial role at the shop. “Catherine has spent literally hundreds of hours cleaning up and re-organising the op shop, driving 100km per day to Dannevirke from Waipukurau. Since then, the shop has gone from strength to strength. Catherine has transformed the shop with the help of only three other volunteers,” says Bruce. Catherine has a huge passion for animals, especially cats. While she lives with complex regional pain syndrome, she believes her volunteering allows her to be a contributing member of society within the boundaries of her disability. “Volunteering at SPCA means that I am able to get what I need as a person, whilst helping raise much needed funds for the voiceless animals,” says Catherine.
Going the Extra Mile
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Going the Extra Mile

Ian Blackler, SPCA Christchurch



SPCA Christchurch’s Volunteer Coordinator Caitlin Hamilton nominated Ian for the award. Ian was nominated for the Purina SPCA Volunteer of the Year Awards twice, and is known around SPCA’s Christchurch Centre as always having a positive and friendly attitude. Caitlin said Ian regularly goes the extra mile for the Inspectorate, but a recent event really stood out. “We had a client who was genuinely trying hard to provide for her dog in very trying circumstances. Her dog has a serious illness called megaoesophagus, which means he can’t keep his food down, so he has to be fed sitting upright, and then remain upright for a period of time after eating,” Caitlin says. “The solution to this problem is a dog ‘chair’. We approached Ian, who is very handy, for help. He visited the dog, took some measurements, and showed up a few days later with a custom dog chair. He sourced all the materials from scraps and even took the time to paint it. He did this on top of his driving duties, always happy to have a crack at anything the centre needs doing. Sometimes he works too hard and needs to be reminded to look after himself!”
Outstanding Young Volunteer
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Outstanding Young Volunteer

Fraser Pettigrew, SPCA Wellington



SPCA National Training Manager Kirsty Grant nominated 16-year-old Fraser for the award. She said Fraser has fostered over 40 animals in two years, including taking on animals that many experienced fosterers would not feel comfortable with. “When Fraser began volunteering with SPCA, we needed bottle feeding fosterers. Fraser started during the school holidays and his first two kittens needed feeding every 3-4hours. This is a big ask for adults, let alone a teenager like Fraser! He took it all in his stride, learning new skills and caring for very vulnerable animals,” says Kirsty. “Without Fraser, these animals would not have had a second chance at life.” Fraser says he loves being able to educate others on the topic of fostering. He has even delivered a presentation about fostering to a SPCA holiday school programme, as well as representing SPCA fostering at the Westpac Home & Garden show. “Whether you’re considering volunteering or fostering, there are many rewarding aspects to it and I highly recommend it,’ says Fraser.

Our Winners from 2018

Best Volunteer Team
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Best Volunteer Team

The Volunteer Driver Team, SPCA Christchurch and Ashburton



Ali Peers, Barry Hazeldine, Carole Worley, Colleen Stuart, Graham Bishop and Ian Blackler make up the Canterbury ambulance team. They assist the Christchurch and Ashburton SPCA Centres to deliver food parcels to animals in need, complete property inspections for dogs ready for new homes, and transfer animals to vet clinics around the area. Recently they also completed their training for ambulance call-outs, to help our front-line SPCA Inspectors attend to emergency animal rescue initiatives.
Fantastic Foster Family
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Fantastic Foster Family

Rachael Knight, SPCA Wellington



Rachael has been fostering for the SPCA’s Wellington canine team for the past eight years. During this time, she’s looked after more than 63 dogs! Rachael gives dogs at the SPCA a home sometimes for the first time in their life. She treats them as part of the family, and teaches them all about the world. Rachael has fostered adult dogs, mums with pups, and young puppies. She is always happy to travel to meet potential families for her fosters, and will even have the dogs back to stay when their new families are on holiday.
Most Devoted Volunteer
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Most Devoted Volunteer

Hannah Stewart, SPCA Auckland Centre



91-year-old Hannah has been volunteering for the SPCA for 45 years and was one of the first volunteers at the Mangere Centre when it opened in 1983. During this time, Hannah has volunteered with the animals, helped out at the Browns Bay Op Shop, and fundraised a significant amount of money with the SPCA Dog Squad. Hannah is not someone who seeks out recognition, but is someone who does it because she loves animals and wants to make a difference to their lives.
Best Op Shop Volunteer
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Best Op Shop Volunteer

May Thomson, SPCA Browns Bay Op Shop



Over the last seven years, 85-year-old May has devoted five days a week to working at the Browns Bay Op Shop, and spends further time knitting beautiful, sought-after items to sell to help raise vital funds for the SPCA. She is so loved by the people at the SPCA that she was nominated four times for this award! May is the backbone of the Browns Bay Op Shop volunteers, and without her five shifts a week, the team would be hard-pushed to find someone to cover for her.
Going the Extra Mile
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Going the Extra Mile

SPCA Whakatane Edgecumbe Flood Volunteers



After last year’s Edgecumbe flood, this team of volunteers banded together and worked exceptionally hard during a very busy, emotional, and distressing time. This response was not only during the weeks immediately after the floods, but the months following. It is now one year after the event, and their efforts are still ongoing. SPCA Centre cat Misty is the face of this special award as she was very much to the fore during the flood too. She supervised incoming animals and helped ease the stress of the volunteers.
Outstanding Young Volunteer
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Outstanding Young Volunteer

The Johnson Kids, SPCA Wairarapa



These six kids have helped their parents care for hundreds sheep, horses, goats, dogs and cats on behalf of the SPCA for the past nine years. Having a family like the Johnsons means animals who are rescued from less than ideal situations can be provided a safe place. The Johnson kids help by rounding up the foster kittens to put them to bed at night, feeding them, playing with them, and cleaning out their cages. The six kids also help with transferring farm animals around the property by standing in strategic places around the farm.