Otago Polytechnic

A retraining exercise

A passion for animals leads Chris Neville on a new path.

Chris Neville

Study

It’s an ideal course if you want to get a job in animal care, or carry on and become a veterinary nurse.

When Chris Neville started hating Mondays, he knew it was time to give up work! 

He’d worked in the telecom industry for 12 years, but his real passion was with animals.

Chris volunteered with various charities including SPCA and K9 Dogwatch.  But he wanted to know more, so he signed up to do a New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3) (Companion Animals) with Otago Polytechnic’s Veterinary Nursing School.

“I live in Christchurch, so I did it all through distance learning.  The materials were really good, and there was always a lecturer available online.  It was just like you could walk into their office and ask!”

Chris worked part time while he studied, and he missed a few sessions, but he found he could easily make up the time and learning.  He says he had to be disciplined to sit down and study, but the workload was realistic.

“It gave a really good broad education of the industry.  It’s an ideal course if you want to get a job in animal care, or carry on and become a veterinary nurse.”

Volunteering and work placement was a part of the programme, and Chris says that prepared everyone for work.

“It shows you what it’s actually like to work with animals … that it’s not all about patting puppies … it can be dirty, hard work.”

Chris is now working his dream job at ‘Kuri’ in Christchurch.  He’s a supervisor at the dog-care facility, interacting, playing with and monitoring the dogs in his care.

“Now, because of my education, I can also offer advice on nutrition and training.  I love it, and my plan is to move forward with the company as it grows.”

Now, Chris Neville loves Mondays!

New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3) (Companion Animals)

Want to have an exciting career working with animals but not sure where to start? Start here! This programme is your first step if you want to enter an animal-related profession and you will learn about the health, welfare, anatomy and physiology of companion animals such as cats and dogs. Successful completion of this qualification will enable you to enter the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) (Veterinary Nursing Assistant). This programme is not available to international students.

Student

Chris Neville

Study

New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3) (Companion Animals)

Want to have an exciting career working with animals but not sure where to start? Start here! This programme is your first step if you want to enter an animal-related profession and you will learn about the health, welfare, anatomy and physiology of companion animals such as cats and dogs. Successful completion of this qualification will enable you to enter the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Technology (Level 5) (Veterinary Nursing Assistant). This programme is not available to international students.