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Dedicated animal lovers’ service celebrated during National Volunteer Week

17 June 2019
Dedicated animal lovers’ service celebrated during National Volunteer Week

Dedicated animal lovers’ service celebrated during National Volunteer Week

SPCA Purina Volunteer Award winners announced

On the eve of National Volunteer Week, the winners of the 2019 SPCA Purina Volunteer Awards have been announced. The awards celebrate the efforts of thousands of Kiwis who volunteer their time, talent and energy to SPCA and to honour those who go the extra mile to better the lives of animals, nationwide.

Six award categories put a spotlight on the different ways volunteers contribute to the SPCA. Here are our deserving winners:

Anna Crum

Anna Crum

Fantastic Foster Family Winner

Retail Manager for SPCA Op Shop in Kamo and Whangarei Alison Fromont nominated Anna for the award. She said Anna has helped provide care for hundreds of kittens over the years while also volunteering at the SPCA Second Chance Store.

“Anna has dedicated herself to saving cats and kittens, literally saving the lives of hundreds of them. During the last kitten season, she fostered 114 kittens as well as some of the mother cats. She is such a compassionate person.”

Foster parents like Anna give their time, talent and energy year-round to nurturing animals and helping them get ready for adoption.

Ian Blacker

Ian Blacker

Going the Extra Mile Winner

Ian regularly goes the extra mile for the Inspectorate Team in Christchurch and is always happy to have a crack at anything the centre needs doing.

Recently he helped a dog who had a serious illness called megaoesophagus, which meant he couldn't keep his food down and had to be fed sitting upright. Ian took it upon himself to create a custom made dog chair, he even sourced all the materials from scraps and took the time to paint it!

Catherine Ashby

Catherine Ashby

Best Op Shop Volunteer Winner

Catherine recognised the potential of SPCA's Dannevirke Op Shop, and breathed new life into the shop by taking up the managerial role at the shop.

Catherine has spent hundreds of hours cleaning up, re-organising and running the op shop on top of driving 100km per day to Dannevirke from Waipukurau. Her outstanding work and dedication is unparalleled.

Fraser Pettigrew

Fraser Pettigrew

Outstanding Young Volunteer Winner

16-year-old Fraser has fostered over 40 animals in two years.

He started his journey at SPCA bottle feeding vulnerable kittens which is a big ask for adults, let alone a teenager! Being the outstanding volunteer he is, Fraser took it all in his stride, learning new skills and caring for very sick animals.

He even delivered a presentation about fostering to an SPCA holiday school programme, as well as representing SPCA fostering at the Westpac Home & Garden Show.

Lauren and Chris Phillips

Lauren and Chris Phillips

Best Volunteer Team Winners

Chris and Lauren have been volunteers at our Nelson Centre for four years, Chris with the dogs, and Lauren with the cats. They turn up every Saturday with a smile on their faces, always willing to help.

Chris has even designed new areas around the centre, his input into our constructions has been invaluable.The couple are always thinking outside the box with fundraising, and fostering mother cats and kittens.

Valerie Garner

Valerie Garner

Most Devoted Volunteer Winner

Valerie has clocked up more than 2500 hours volunteering for SPCA. She has been part of the team since 2009 and assists with receipt and letter folding in SPCA's supporter care team.

She can fold and stuff 500 receipts in one day which is an incredible work rate. The department says they could not operate without her. Valerie has a keen eye for detail, is quick and also efficient, and much appreciated by everyone who works with her!

More than 120 nominations were received from SPCA staff and volunteers across the country. The nominations were narrowed down to a shortlist and judged by Andrea Midgen, CEO, SPCA and Jennifer Chappell, Country Manager, Purina.

Andrea Midgen says that SPCA simply could not function without the loyal contribution of a national network of more than 5,000 volunteers, and partners such as Purina, who have sponsored these awards since 2016 and ensure all SPCA’s cats and dogs nationwide are fed with Purina One.

“Our dedicated volunteer base is the lifeblood of our organisation, many of whom have worked with us for several years. It is because of these incredible people that ensures SPCA can continue to help tens of thousands of animals each year. Together with Purina, we want to acknowledge the difference these volunteers make to the lives of animals in need,” says Midgen.

“The awards recognise the contribution made by volunteers at our 38 Centres and over 56 SPCA Op Shops across New Zealand. Our volunteers help with every single aspect of SPCA’s work – from cleaning and feeding animals, to helping with administration and fundraising. Our Op Shop volunteers receive, clean and merchandise donated goods to help raise vital funds,” adds Midgen.

Jennifer Chappell, Country Manager, Purina says Purina is immensely proud to be sponsoring these awards and to be able to help in recognising some of the most generous and selfless people in New Zealand.

“Valerie Garner of SPCA’s Auckland Centre has clocked up more than 2500 volunteer hours and assists the supporter care team every week, rain or shine. Anna Crum who won this year’s Fantastic Foster Family Award has fostered more than 114 kittens in the last kitten season alone. These volunteers are truly inspirational,” says Chappell.

The winners received a years’ supply of Purina One for their pet and a $300 Prezzy card.

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