Hester Ruffell, a substitute teacher at Tereora College, her father, Trevor and son Jensen bought worming tablets and sprays, dog collars and flea treatments in a bid to do their bit for Rarotonga’s animals.
Hester researched the costs of relocating an animal from Rarotonga to her home in Wellington, New Zealand. After finding it cost well over $3500, she took an alternative approach.
“So then I thought, what else can I do to help these lovely animals?” Hester said.
Trevor approached Vet Services Hawkes Bay, the same clinic that had supported him after his beloved dog had to be euthanised earlier this year.
“I think I got a bit of a sympathy vote, but they were so extremely generous. I was expecting a discount, but they just gave me bags and bags of the stuff (worm and flea treatment),
“And I think that just goes to show the kindness of animal people, they all had that ‘we’re all in this together’ attitude, and I think it brings people together in a sense.”
Esther Honey Clinic manager, Jo Taylor-Kupu agreed.
“Totally: just look at all the vet nurses we have working here. We have a South African, a Pole, a South Korean, an Austrian, and a Tongan,” she said.
“That’s one of the few things that can unite people from all over. It really doesn’t matter where you are, who you are, or how much you have, that love for animals is something really bonding,” Trevor said.
The family flew out early this morning and would love nothing more than to return to Rarotonga in a few years’ time.