Melissa Shuttleworth was ''ecstatic'' to be a finalist in the inaugural Vet Nurse of the Year awards.
The award was presented by the New Zealand Veterinary Nurse Association (NZVNA) and Hill's Pet Nutrition, and was won by Tania Fernandez, of Christchurch.
Miss Shuttleworth has worked at Waikiwi Veterinary Services since 2007, after completing a diploma of vet nursing at the Southern Institute of Technology.
Her interest in being a vet nurse came about because of her love of animals.
At Waikiwi, Miss Shuttleworth's work includes assisting with surgeries and helping run clinics.
She also helps run a ''puppy pre-school'' which involves educating and training new puppy owners and their pets.
''A lot of them have never had a dog before,'' she said.
Hill's Pet Nutrition flew the three finalists to Auckland for a celebratory luncheon and a formal presentation last week.
Miss Shuttleworth was nominated for the award by the Southland SPCA, Hill's Pet Nutrition and several of her clients.
She said just being nominated was ''pretty awesome'', and it was nice to be recognised for her work.
NZVNA president Julie Hutt said she was thrilled to see such a high standard of nominations and recognise the contribution of veterinary nurses to both the veterinary team and their patients.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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