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Animal Rights Award recipient Kristin Zajaczkowski thanks donor Dr. Peter Mixon.
Animal Rights Award recipient Kristin Zajaczkowski thanks donor Dr. Peter Mixon.

August 20, 2009

Kristin Zajaczkowski is passionate about animal welfare. The 26-year-old Camosun student is in her second year of university transfer sciences and in her spare time, volunteers for several animal health centres in Victoria.

Kristin is also this year’s deserving recipient of Camosun’s Peter and Muriel Mixon Animal Rights Award – a $1,000 award created by Dr. Peter Mixon, a retired Camosun English literature instructor, in honour of his wife.

The award is one of hundreds of awards and bursaries provided by the Camosun College Foundation. It is intended to raise awareness of the plight of animals and encourage a change in attitude toward animals used in research and the treatment of animals in our community.

Outstanding care for animals

Active in animal health since she was 15, Kristin now works as a veterinary assistant at the Pacific Cat Clinic in Saanich. In addition to her medical duties, she voluntarily fosters and rehabilitates kittens and adult cats. She also spends time helping abandoned injured and orphaned wildlife at the Wild Arc animal rehabilitation centre and assists with several charities including the NANA Foundation and the BC SPCA.

Many animals have benefited from her care, but last summer Kristin successfully helped raise and find loving homes for 48 kittens while also saving an abandoned, badly disabled cat from euthanasia.

“Kristin stepped in for this poor kitty,” said Dr. Helen Bell of the Pacific Cat Clinic. “She took her home, turned her bedroom over to her, named her, nursed her and socialized her for several weeks until she slowly trusted humans. Eventually she was able to find “Margle” a new human to provide her a loving home and accept her challenges. She also worked with the man extensively to help him live with and care for a special needs cat. A year later, we hear Margle has settled beautifully into her new home.”

“I love working with the animals, but I also enjoy working with their families,” says Kristin. “I like the human side of the practice, and I really strive to educate others on the importance of treating all animals with kindness.”

“Kristin shows outstanding care and respect for Victoria’s four legged friends,” adds Dr.Bell. “She believes in their right to be free of pain, disease and suffering and in their right to be respected, cherished and loved. She often works 12 hour days, opening the clinic at 7:30am, going to classes and then coming back to help us close after 7pm. Kristin is a powerful and passionate advocate for animals.”

On the right track

“I’m very excited to receive Dr. Mixon’s Animal Rights Award,” says Kristin. “It has helped me understand it’s the little things that count each day. It reinforces for me that I’m on the right track. Thank you so much.”

“There are no words to describe the feeling of being greeted by a purring cat or watching a duck grooming its pristine feathers as it sits gleaming in the afternoon sun,” she adds. “These are the things that make me happy, that make me glad to be alive. Why anyone would want to take away the grace that naturally belongs to animals is beyond me.”

After Kristin graduates from Camosun, she hopes to become an alumna of the University of Saskatchewan’s Veterinary Medicine Program. “Of all the animals I’ve worked with, I think I’d like to specialize in cats,” she says.

Find out more

The Peter and Muriel Mixon Animal Rights Award is just one of hundreds of awards and bursaries provided through the Camosun College Foundation. To learn more about the award or help support the outstanding efforts of Camosun students, please contact the Foundation today: 250-370-4234.

Last updated: September 23, 2015 5:12 pm

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