French volunteer helps SPCA

Monday September 03, 2018 Written by Published in Local
Gaelle Pion – SPCA’s volunteer has been involved in the dog desexing programme now underway on Rarotonga. 18082211 Gaelle Pion – SPCA’s volunteer has been involved in the dog desexing programme now underway on Rarotonga. 18082211

SPCA volunteer Gaelle Pion did not know what SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) stood for when she saw the notice at a backpacker she was staying at in Rarotonga.

 

The French tourist came here first, for just 10 days on her way to New Zealand, to cycle its length with a friend.

The 3,000 km ride took them two months to complete. And when she had finished, she was ready to return to Rarotonga where she is spending time as an SPCA volunteer.

Only intending to take one year off to travel, she has actually been away from her home in Lyon, France for nearly two years. As an agronomy engineer, she worked for the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment.

Pion enjoys her work with the animals and says that as a child she had always wanted to be a vet. “But I couldn’t do the surgery thing.”

When Pion leaves the island she intends to travel to Nepal. “However, I love it here and for me, I would like to see the people use less plastic and to try to preserve their fresh water. There is a shortage around the world.”

She says while chemicals in sunscreen damage the coral reef, all the chemically-produced cleaners and body care products contribute to damaging the environment.

“People go swimming with deodorant on, and what they clean their houses with gets into the water too.”

Pion says this all contributes to the global problem, and she would like to see people looking into some of the alternatives that are now available. 

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