Otago Polytechnic

Holly Kendrick has no plans to pack lightly for her forthcoming trip to Rarotonga.

The Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing lecturer heads to the biggest of the Cook Islands on June 29, hoping to have used up every last gram of the 69kg luggage allowance generously granted by Air NZ.

Holly will fill her bags with collars destined for Rarotonga’s roaming dog population.

Holly says collars are a precious commodity on the island, which has about 5000 dogs (compared to a human population of around11,000).

Given the relatively low wages there, a $20 collar isn’t a priority, Holly says, lamenting the fact that uncollared dogs are often shot by the island's animal control service.

A board member of Te Are Manu, Rarotonga's only veterinary clinic, Holly is working on a long-term plan to micro-chip and de-sex the island’s dogs. However, the collars are a “quick fix” to prevent more owned dogs meeting a grizzly end.

“Should dogs be found roaming without a collar or registration tag there is a good chance that they might be shot. This is a daily occurrence. The problem with this is, collars are often lost or stolen, meaning family pets are often killed.”

Holly hopes encouraging owners to collar their canine companions will serve as a step towards responsible dog ownership.

“Many dogs in Rarotonga live a free-range lifestyle, so making owned dogs more easily identifiable will ensure they are easily reunited should they wander or find themselves in trouble.”

Holly has set up a give-a-little page to encourage Kiwis to donate a collar (or money to buy one).

“Te Are Manu is fortunate to be working alongside the Cook Islands SPCA team and my aim is to raise funds which will allow me to take as many collars as possible with me in June to benefit the animals seen by both organisations.

“Air New Zealand have kindly given me 69kg luggage allowance and I would love to take full advantage of every kilogram.”

Interested in supporting Holly’s collar drive? Visit her give-a-little page

Read more about our Veterinary Nursing programmes

Published on 30 May 2018

Orderdate: 30 May 2018
Expiry: 30 Nov 2018