Napier resident McKenzie Donaldson is an 18-year-old who began volunteering at the SPCA in 2015, where she enjoys helping out in whatever way she can, playing with the animals, and helping them find new homes.

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering for just over a year. I volunteer at the SPCA four or five days a week. I've always loved animals, and heard about the shelter so started there when I left school in 2014.

Why do you give your time freely?

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I had brain tumours removed when I was 7 years old which has left me with balance issues and I get tired quickly. This has meant that it has been difficult finding a job, so rather than sit around home and feel sorry for myself, I come to the SPCA and give something back to the community.

What's the biggest buzz you get from it?

I enjoy the whole environment, the people and the animals. It is a good feeling that I am a valued member of a team, and that I have played a role in adopting hundreds of animals into new homes. And of course I get to play with kittens as well.