Every Wednesday, I will share a resident of the South Bay contributing to making our community a better place.
Today’s #WCW title belongs to South Bay resident, Daphne Ku’uleimealohaokalani Marie Garrett who is a veterinary technician at Country Hills Animal Clinic in Torrance.
Daphne, 28, has lived in Torrance her entire life and was inspired to pursue the animal care field after adopting her very first dog at the Carson Shelter.
Five years after high school, Daphne received her certificate as a veterinary technician in June 2010. She describes her position as the Doctor’s, “right hand man.”
Daphne begins and ends each day by seeing in room appointments and checking on surgeries. Some of her duties include surgeries mostly of spay and neuters, dental cleanings, vaccinations, radiographs, lab work, placing IV catheters, dental radiographs and blood draws.
Due to the unpredictability of her work field, Daphne feels some days are harder than others and there is no “typical” day at work. “We see so many different types of dogs and cats with similar and different issues. We do our best to exceed beyond everyone’s expectations for themselves and of course for the pet’s best interest,” she says.
When asked what is the most difficult part of her job, Daphne explains when “we have to send our furry friends to doggy heaven because we have done all we possibly could to help them.” This can be in result of many things such as diabetes, cancer, or old age.
“The only thing that gets me by is knowing the second they leave us, they are no longer in pain and are happy and free running around in heaven,” she explains. She says that even when the dog is not hers, it is the worst heartbreak she’s experienced.
Despite the difficulty of some aspects of her position, she believes the best days are when she can send the owners and their pets home happier and healthier than when they walked into the hospital.
Daphne wishes that pet owners understood that having pets is a lot of work. “They need to know it is just like having a kid, but sometimes even worse because dogs don’t have the ability to speak,” she says.
She also wishes pet owners realized that dogs have to be cared for, fed, walked daily and both dogs and cats need to be vaccinated yearly dependent on age. In addition, she urges that they pay attention to symptoms of being sick and take precaution immediately if necessary.
Daphne has found that animals have feelings, know when you are upset or happy. In result, she believes that owners should understand that pets become members of the family. She believes that residents should choose a Veterinarian based on referrals from family and friends. She does not believe in relying on internet sites such as yelp. She explains that people can be cruel and lie.
Daphne hopes to one day start her own business. She’d like to open a rescue or a doggy day care/grooming and dog bakery. However, she believes many can help animals by adopting those at high kill shelters or volunteering their time there.
When Daphne is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking with her own dogs, visiting the dog beach or traveling. Daphne is the furr-mom to Lucky, a mutt who was adopted at Carson Shelter and Winston who she got as a gift two years ago.
Lucky inspired Daphne to pursue the veterinary field after showering her in unconditional love. He is now going on 12 years old and she likes to call him her “grumpy old man.”
Daphne’s motto in life is, “Adopt, don’t shop and give pets the love they deserve. Give them a FURever home.” She has found that dogs give her a sense of saving grace that no one is able to give her.
Thank you, Daphne, for being a wonderful asset to our veterinary field in the South Bay and reminding us that it is possible to have a career doing what we love- like saving animal’s lives.