Animal-loving artist steps up for charity

'I want to do my bit'

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 15:35 19/12/2013
rockhopper
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WHERE AM I? A rockhopper penguin Timaru artist Debbie Crowe rescued when it ended up in need of help at South Beach at the start of the year.

debbie crowe
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CARING FOR CREATURES: Animal lover and SAFE member Debbie Crowe with one of her 15 pets, Oakley, a bichon maltese cross.

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Timaru artist Debbie Crowe is making an impact when it comes to the positive treatment of animals and for her cause will dress as one for animal welfare charity SAFE's upcoming fundraiser.

"I love animals," Ms Crowe said.

At home she has 15 pets: Four birds, four fish, three cats, one dog, one sheep and two hens.

She cringes at the thought of harm coming to animals and hates the life battery hens and pigs in crates endure.

"Animal welfare is my passion and factory farming is the number one cause of animal suffering in New Zealand today. I want to do my bit to make a difference for millions of animals."

In the future she hopes there will be no factory farming and believes to achieve such a state, education of the public is vital. At the start of the year she found a distressed rockhopper penguin on South Beach.

"It was in a very bad way. After many phone calls I managed to find someone who cared and that was the fantastic people from Department of Conservation (DOC) in Oamaru."

Rockhoppers are so named because they jump over boulders and cracks unlike other species which have difficulty getting over obstacles. They are usually found in the subantarctic.

"This penguin is not meant to be anyway near here, he was way off course," Ms Crowe said.

DOC advised her what to try and feed him with until she could deliver him to them.

It's her daily mission to raise awareness of the changes needed to keep animals safe and free of pain. To this end she will be one of the SAFE collectors dressed as an animal during Saturday and Sunday's appeal.

SAFE is a non-profit charitable organisation concerned with animal welfare and financed solely through the goodwill of the community. Last year nearly $250,000 was raised in the national appeal.

SOUTH CANTERBURY HERALD

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