A Huddersfield student is jetting off to Mexico to help care for abandoned cats and dogs.
Joanna Rutecka, who lives at Deighton, will spend four weeks in the city of Merida, in Mexico’s Yucatán region, helping to care for cats and dogs that have been abandoned on the streets and prepare them for rehoming.
The 21-year-old, who is studying tourism management with Spanish at Leeds Metropolitan University, flies out from Manchester at the end of May to take part in the volunteering programme, which is run by International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ).
Joanna, who attended All Saints’ RC College at Bradley, found out about the opportunity online, She said: “I have always wanted to do volunteering. I applied and I was lucky enough to be accepted.”
Joanna has to pay £500 to take part in the programme and pay her air fair as well – all of which she has funded from money she saved doing part-time jobs.
She has completed her second year at university and hopes to spend her third year working in a hotel in Spain before completing her degree. “I hope to work in the tourism industry when I finish,” she said, “I love travelling, which is why I am going to Mexico, I want to see the world.”
Joanna’s role in Mexico will involve working alongside animal care staff to bathe, brush, train, walk and play with the cats and dogs to prepare them for adoption.
The Mexican organisation she will work with is also involved in public education on animal care and fundraising. It also holds clinics to provide free or low-cost spaying and neutering of pets.
Based in New Zealand, IVHQ has grown to become a leading volunteer travel company, working in more than 25 countries around the world, including ones in Central and South America, Africa and the Far East and placing thousands of international volunteers abroad every year.