Push for more pets at work
More people should realise the benefits of bringing their pet to work, an Auckland veterinarian said.
No matter where she goes, Shalsee Vigeant’s three dogs are never far away.
From the office to vet clinics, or after-work volleyball, they’re her constant companions.
The head of veterinary services at SPCA Auckland said she had been taking pet dogs to work with her for more than 20 years.
Perched on her desk, her two chihuahuas Kapone and Kooper share a bed, while Tuuka, a dog she adopted from the SPCA three years ago, gets his own on the floor.
‘‘I’m part of their life as much as they’re part of mine, I couldn’t imagine leaving them at home every day. It helps make my day better,’’ Vigeant said.
SPCA, Purina and the Mental Health Foundation want to inspire more organisations to encourage pet friendly workplaces with Pets at Work Day today.
Purina estimates about 250,000 New Zealanders enjoy pet friendly workplaces, but would like that to increase.
It’s something Vigeant always checks in a job interview, and she said she couldn’t work somewhere that didn’t allow pets.
‘‘I think the world is becoming more pet friendly,’’ Vigeant said.
‘‘The more pet friendly a business is the better.
‘‘Places that tend to be pet friendly have a better atmosphere because being around pets makes people a lot more relaxed.’’
Bringing her pets to work did come with challenges, but the benefits - socialisation and behaviour improvements - far outweigh the negatives.
‘‘You bond with them all the time so they’re seeing new behaviours, rather than just when you come home from work.’’
While she’s seen plenty of dogs, some ferrets and a chinchilla in a cage over the years, she’s never worked in an office with a cat.
However, as long as they’re socialised she did not see any reason why people could not take their cat to work.
As for workmates with allergies or people who were afraid of animals, as long as your pet was kept under control and you cleaned up after them it shouldn’t be a problem, Vigeant said.