Edenvale veterinarian, Dr Amanda Haechler, is one of the many pet heroes in the community that residents turn to when their beloved four-legged family members need medical help.
At age 16, Dr Amanda saw her first spay and her mind was made up.
She had chosen her career.
Nine years later she still has a deep love for animals, as well as the compassion needed when dealing with residents who need support when their pets fall ill.
“Some days are emotionally draining but at the same time, other days are just as rewarding,” said Dr Amanda.
Caring for pets is just one part of Dr Amanda’s day.
She is also an advocate for the education of pet owners.
Often, residents feel they need to adopt a pet, but very little research is done to find out what goes into owning a pet.
“Before you adopt any animal it is a good idea to chat to your vet, get advice and make an informed decision,” said Dr Amanda.
Often residents do not understand the financial implications of welcoming a new pet into their homes.
A puppy or a kitten needs several inoculations before it reaches a year old; senior animals may need additional medical treatments and if there is an emergency, costs can run into thousands.
Getting advice before adopting can prevent this.
One of the most common mistakes made by pet owners is “Googling” their pet’s symptoms.
“Google is a vet’s worst nightmare. It’s the same as Googling your own symptoms. You may have a headache but the internet will tell you it’s cancer. Rather speak to your vet who will be able to diagnose the problem,” said Dr Amanda.
No two days at a veterinary practice are the same and for Dr Amanda, this is where her passion lies.
She admits she would not be able to work a regular desk job.
“We get to work with amazing animals each day,” said Dr Amanda.
While through veterinary practice individuals can specialise in a variety of fields, for Dr Amanda her heart lies in helping loved family pets.
“We have had a few strange requests over the years. I once had to help a sheep give birth when her lamb was stuck and thought that was quite strange for a residential area. I also once had to spay a Dassie, which was a first,” said Dr Amanda.
Dr Amanda also has a special place in her heart for animal rescue organisations.
She added that these organisations work tirelessly to rescue and re-home abandoned pets.
“Brenda does amazing work in the community and we always have cats and kittens coming in to be spayed and neutered before leaving for their new homes,” she said.
In addition, Dr Michelle Harman, who works with Dr Amanda, will this year cycle the 94.7 cycle challenge in aid of Border Collie Rescue.
“Sterilisations and re-homing saves lives,” said Dr Amanda.
“Rescue organisations are overflowing with pets. All these pets deserve a good home and they all deserve to be loved,” she said.
Through continuous education of pet owners, Dr Amanda believes that the number of abandoned pets can be brought down.
Her advice to other pet owners is to find a vet which they like and stay with them.
“Building a relationship with your vet is as important as a person building a relationship with their doctor. It is in the animal’s best interest which is very important,” said Dr Amanda.
At home, Dr Amanda owns two dogs and a cat of her own and she enjoys spending time with them when she is not at the practice.