2014 was a huge year for Westlakes Vet Hospital. As well as our usual (and sometimes unusual) cases we also had the pleasure of helping a lot of native animals.
Located in Lake Macquarie's leafy suburb, Fennell Bay, we are surrounded by native wildlife. You will often hear a noisy flock of Lorikeets right behind our building, see Native Noisy Miner birds chasing Indian Miner birds away from our front yard and even the odd Blue Tongue down the back.
Thanks to the hard working volunteers at Hunter Wildlife Rescue we are often able to diagnose and treat any ailments the animal may have and then send them to be rehabilited with a licenced Native Wildlife Carer. The carers never hesitate to collect the animals from us and when they can, even update us on their progress and release dates.
All animals well enough to be released are often released at the exact spot where they were found, thus not upsetting their territory and ensuring they can get right back to being a wild animal.
Nurse Jenn knew that Santa photos were a big hit last year and wanted to go bigger and better than ever, this year deciding to donate funds to help the Wildlife carers continue to raise and rehabilitate any animals that needed their help.
She got in contact with Santa and some helpers and the date was set!
We had two solid days of Santa photos, with a huge red backdrop, lots of presents and decorations and a treat for every pet and person to come and see us.
Using tricks like squeaky balls, liver treats and wiggling toys over the camera Nurse Jenn managed to get plenty of great shots, and a lot of not so great ones! Families had the option of recieving an emailed copy of their photo or a coloured print out.
A portion of every photo sold was donated straight to the Native Animal Trust Fund to assist with Hunter Wildlife Rescue.
We all had a lot of fun taking the photos, it is a great pleasure to be able to meet pets and their families without the pressure of a usual vet visit. Every pet was happy and healthy and when they left, munching on goodies from Santas treat pouch.
Santa said he had a lot of fun, meeting animals as small as 3kg all the way up to 70kg!
We even got to visit with children who sat with and chatted with Santa about their year and told him all about their pets. We loved being able to hand out lollies and treats to all the kids and hope we made their Christmas photos, which can often be an overwhelming experience, a little easier by having their best buddies there wagging their tails.
Nurse Jenn, Santa and their helpers plan on setting up again this December and hope to raise even more funds for a local welface organisation!
You can check out all of the photos by heading to our Facebook page.
Nurse Jenn was proud to present our licenced wildlife carer, Robyn, with funds raised from Santa's visit. Robyn brought along the president of the NATF, Jill Dean, to give Nurse Jenn a certificate of appreciation for her fundraising efforts.
We continue to care for native animals and birds, our main goal is to get them back on their feet or wings as soon as possible and back into their natural environment.
If you ever find injured Native Wildlife please don't hesitate to call us on (02) 4959 5766 or the Hunter Wildlife Rescue 24hr hotline on 0418 628 483