‘It’s been an honour,’ say retiring Kapiti vets
After six years caring for Kapiti animals vet and vet nurse John and Heather Hewitt are calling it a day.
The couple have been working for the Waikanae SPCA but other needy animals at their own veterinary clinic need attention.
John could not be certain how many animals the pair had treated over the years at the shelter but said it had been a great ride.
‘‘There was a camaraderie here and the volunteers, especially Tracey Jong, were motivational.
‘‘We were the last chance solution for many animals and their owners who had no way of affording to get procedures done.’’
He said he had treated pigs and alpacas, fashioned a new beak for a duck and desexed ‘a huge volume’ of cats and dogs.
‘‘That’s been our mission really, to spey and neuter anything that wasn’t speyed or neutered.’’
John said one of his favourite cases was a dog whose owner had been told it was suffering a uterine infection.
‘‘[It] turned out to be ten puppies and a large rock.’’
The couple had been working together for nearly 40 years and John said it worked just fine.
They moved to Ashurst, near Palmerston, after leaving Waiheke Island where they owned and operated a clinic.
Heather said the Kapiti community had been great supporters of the SPCA clinic.
‘‘People wanted to donate things we could use to help animals and gave us things like dental equipment and a surgical light.
‘‘Some of the people around here are incredible, we have had a great network of people supporting us.’’
Heather said their work would continue at Valley Vets, the Ashhurst clinic they opened last year.
‘‘We’ll continue to do welfare work for rescue groups and organisations that have been drawn to us.’’
Reflecting on their work at the SPCA, Heather said it felt good to know they were making a difference.
‘‘I’m not going to get soppy, but it’s been the right thing to do. It’s what vets should do.
‘‘It’s been an honour to help make lives better and give them a chance. That’s what it’s about, isn’t it?
‘‘You have to give them a chance.’’
Retiring couple Heather and John Hewitt have served the animals of Kapiti for six years.