‘It’s been an hon­our,’ say re­tir­ing Kapiti vets

Kapi-Mana News - - WHAT’S ON - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

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.

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