Zena's caring hands a lifeline

Looking out for the underdog

Last updated 11:31 16/04/2014
zena guthrie

HELPING HAND: Zena Guthrie volunteers as a carer for sick animals, including birds and puppies which she nurses back to good health from her Timaru home.

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All creatures great and small get a second chance at life when Timaru teen Zena Guthrie comes to their rescue.

The 19-year-old spends her spare time nursing animals back to health from a "mini farmyard" at her Evans St home. A pint-sized puppy, a seagull with a broken wing and a sparrow are among the animals that have come into her care recently.

Her love of animals started at a young age, primarily with birds.

"I've been brought up around birds because my dad's allergic to fur," Guthrie said.

The South Canterbury branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) heard about Guthrie's caring nature and approached her to care for birds. She agreed and is now the SPCA's go-to-girl.

"My first call-up for the SPCA was about a sick shag down at the bay."

She took the bird home but it died.

Guthrie said there was no limit to what type of animal she would try to help.

"It doesn't matter if it's got feathers or fur ... they all deserve a second chance. I guess it's like looking out for the underdog - something that doesn't have a voice. I enjoy being able to give them a second chance."

Guthrie also adopted two rabbits, mistakenly believing they were both female. She ended up with seven bunnies and rehomed all but one.

A magpie has also received her care and attention after it was hit by a car.

"She couldn't walk when we got her, but she's walking fine now."

A duckling is also on her list of rescued animals. Once it was well enough she released it at the botanical gardens.

There are many more animals living life to the full thanks to her care. One of her most recent rescue stories involves a tiny puppy.

"It was the runt (of the litter) and couldn't get in to feed."

Now Guthrie gets up about four times a night to feed it. However, not even a lack of sleep phases Guthrie - so long as her animals are getting the care they need.

"It's definitely worth it. Once she (the pup) opens her eyes it will be amazing," she said.

Guthrie has studied animal care at Aoraki Polytechnic and is now a student at the YMCA. However, she is looking for a job, preferably one caring for animals.


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- South Canterbury

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