Kiwibank Local Hero – one of ours!

Local Heroes - Claire

Claire receiving her medal

Last night in Palmerston North, medals were awarded at a special ceremony for the Kiwibank Local Heroes award for the whole Wellington/Manawatu/central north island region. Of the hundreds nominated for this award, HUHA’s Otaki Shelter Manager, Claire Thornton, was one of the few awarded a medal. It would be hard for us to be more proud because we know what Claire is for HUHA and it’s great to see that the wider community also recognises what she does and has rewarded her accordingly.

Claire’s commitment to being there for the animals and her steely focus on everything relating to their protection, rescue, enrichment and happiness leaves no room for taking time out to be thanked, rewarded or fussed over. She rejects limelight outright and is single-mindedly focused on her 16-hour days dedicated to our animals. However, she is a dedicated supporter of HUHA and the HUHA message and a natural leader so she went, gave a wonderful speech in front of everybody about HUHA and animal rescue, and received her award in front of her proud husband Chris and three handsome sons.

Claire always credits everyone who volunteers at HUHA and who supports HUHA in any way as an equal partner with her as part of the solution. Her constant maxim – “Every life matters” – is the focus for us all. Thank you Claire and thank you to Claire’s family. You are the difference.


— Photo above is of Claire with Benji, one of the beagles that HUHA rescued from an animal testing laboratory. Photo taken by Jo Moore.