Animals have been a major theme of our family’s trip. Everywhere we go, our girls find some little cat or dog to love temporarily. Whether we’re eating at a restaurant, walking through ancient temples, chilling at the beach, running errands around town or just hanging out at our rental, it’s only a matter of time before a cat or dog is the center of their attention. To say our daughters are animal lovers might be the understatement of the year.
As a result, our service projects have often involved caring for cats and dogs. While these have always been fun experiences, they’ve also exposed the girls to a grim reality they’d never seen before, particularly in developing countries. Seeing animals with injuries and severe illnesses has been an eye-opener for them and led to some of those childhood realizations about life and death. Who knew taking care of puppies and kittens could be such a sobering experience?
However, our latest animal-oriented volunteer work at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty toward Animals(SPCA) was a little more upbeat. Animal welfare in Fiji has come a long way in recent years, thanks to the efforts of groups like SPCA. The Suva chapter of the organization maintains an adoption facility and veterinary clinic, while also organizing animal welfare campaigns throughout the community. The animals we cared for were all in good health and very friendly, ready to become pets to local residents willing to open up their hearts and homes. Throughout our time in Fiji, we supported the SPCA in a number of ways. The girls gave the dogs and cats in the adoption center some much needed attention and we donated food supplies. My friend, Diana, and I even attended an SPCA fundraiser complete with champagne and a fashion show. Although, I probably shouldn’t count our girls’ night out as part of the service project.
This was our last project here in Fiji and we’re currently looking for opportunities to help in New Zealand. We’ll be in the country through the month of April. Our schedule is completely flexible, so connections to volunteer work could help guide our journey in the land of Kiwis. Any suggestions?