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Local Vet Shaves Head And Bares All For Worthy Cause

Dr Alanda Rafferty, pictured her with her cows on her lifestyle block, is raising money for a good cause. PHOTO / SUPPLIED

Alanda Rafferty vowed never to shave her head again but when she saw the impact drought and Covid-19 was having on farmers in Hawke’s Bay, there was no hesitation to do something for a good cause.

The VetEnt Havelock North veterinarian is no stranger to doing her bit for worthy causes, having donated hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths for extensions, and raised $1200 by shaving her head for the Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand charity in April 2017.

“I need a haircut, so I might as well do it for good and raise some funds for a much-needed cause,” she says about her latest venture.

Living on a lifestyle block with her husband and two children, Alanda has found how difficult it has been to get food in for “even a handful of lifestyle animals”.

“It’s really about helping the farmers out whose livelihood this is and who have been working non-stop throughout the Covid lockdown trying to keep their animals fed and struggling with that.”

“They’ve got their food ready for the winter but they’re having to feed out their winter feed in autumn, so they’re going to be short-changed for the middle of winter.”

“It’s really trying to give them a helping hand as much as I can.”

She is aiming to raise a couple of thousand dollars and hopes the funds raised can be used to help where necessary including transportation costs for feed.

Ahead of the shave scheduled for later this month, Dr Rafferty has risen to the challenge set by other local vets by stripping off to feed hay to her cows.

The challenge started on the Hawkes Bay drought Facebook page, bringing stricken farmers together to raise awareness and get them talking about problems rather than bottling them up.

“It was a spur of the moment thing and it was very tastefully done. If it draws more attention to farmers’ plight, then I am happy.”

Dr Rafferty plans to “kill two birds with one stone” by donating her shaved hair to be used for wigs or wig alterations.

“I have had a couple of trims but since I decided to shave it again, I haven’t done anything so when I shave it off hopefully it will be long enough to donate as well.”

She says it took about six months for the main bit of length to grow back. This time, she suspects she will be wearing a lot of beanies to keep her hairless head warm during the middle of winter.

Dr Rafferty is also hoping that she can help farmers in another way as well. Through her research study into the prevalence of hip dysplasia in the New Zealand working Huntaway, she is calling for farmers to allow their dogs to be tested at no cost. About 100 more dogs in good general health and aged between two and 10-years-old are needed.

They will be examined, sedated, and radiographed and a blood sample collected for a future DNA study conducted by Massey University.

Owners will receive a free evaluation of their dog’s hips, a written report of the hip assessment results and an indication of possible breeding hip dysplasia issues.

The research is funded by VetEnt, Massey University Working Dog Centre, The Wairoa Veterinary Club, Antech Imaging and Zoetis Animal Health and will be published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal. It was also the subject for Dr Rafferty’s Masters in Veterinary Medicine (MVM), dissertation, that escalated into a much larger research project.

The big shave is planned for Saturday, July 25 at 1pm in the VetEnt veterinary clinic in Havelock North after conclusion of the Saturday morning clinic. It will be open to the public to attend with a cash donation jar for anonymous donations.

For more information and to donate, visit: https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/cutting-locks-to-feed-the-flocks

© Scoop Media

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