Man’s animal welfare quest arrives in North
Animal welfare crusader Stephen Brassett is well on his way to completing a mammoth walk in aide of our four-legged friends.
Brassett is making The Longest Walk to raise awareness of animal welfare agencies throughout New Zealand.
He has visited more than 30 animal shelters so far, and recently passed through Whangarei on his way to the Far North.
He is accompanied by his two little dogs, a 12-year-old chihuahua called Piccolo and a six-year-old pug-cross called Jake.
‘‘My goal is to promote what the SPCA and other rescue organisations are doing,’’ Brassett says.
‘‘I want to encourage people who have an affinity for animal welfare to get actively involved, to volunteer or give their manpower or womanpower.’’
Brassett started his journey on January 7 at the Southland SPCA. He typically walks around four hours a day, and has rest days when needed. He has a cart that has acted as his compact mobile home, which Piccolo sometimes takes to when he’s tired.
Brassett plans to visit the Kerikeri SPCA and possibly the Kaitaia SPCA before heading south again.
The 35-year-old from Wellington has worked in animal welfare shelters and as a dog handler and trainer for seven years. His last job was at the Lost Dog Home in Melbourne, Australia.
His latest mission involves giving informal talks and stopping off at various animal welfare agencies, such as SPCA, to give knowledge and support, and to celebrate the good work that goes on at these organisations.
He also wants to educate people about what animals need, including basic food, shelter, exercise and training.
‘‘I just decided I wanted to something more proactive...and could contribute to more organisations. My theory is I’m supporting people who choose to do something, I’m just trying to help them.
‘‘It’s more about trying to get their messages out and let people know in their communities that they exist...I want to get people to get involved.’’
His mission has been hard work, but Brassett has no complaints. ‘‘It’s the most free I have ever been and probably ever will be, so it’s pretty awesome.’’
Stephen Brassett walks around New Zealand to raise awareness of animal welfare.