HUHA founder Carolyn Press-McKenzie. Picture / Supplied.

Chasing Tail

A menagerie of animals keeps HUHA founder Carolyn Press-McKenzie fit and grounded

Carolyn Press-McKenzie has devoted her life to animals. The founder of HUHA (Helping You Help Animals), pictured here with Hippo, cherishes creatures for their “friendship, personalities and free spirits”, and believes each should be given the right to a safe future.

Her charity teaches empathy for animals and provides shelter for domestic, farm and wild animals that have been abandoned or are otherwise vulnerable.

As New Zealand’s leading no-kill animal shelter, HUHA has re-homed thousands of animals, including homeless pets after the Christchurch earthquakes, ex-zoo and circus animals, and animals used in factory farming and medical testing.

The voluntary work is partly funded by the natural products Press-McKenzie makes — she has a background in surgical vet nursing and herbalism, as well as having trained animals in the film and television industries.

Based just north of Wellington, her busy days start with a 4am writing session and finish at 10pm, with constant cleaning, nursing, training, rescues, feeding, campaigning and phone calls in between.

She recently published her first book Animal Magic ($36.99, Allen & Unwin), which details her story and those of the many animals she has cared for.

• To donate, adopt an animal or find out more, see


Love and laughter. I get both from my work as well as my family, so 24/7 life is pretty good.

I’m addicted to writing, getting up at 4am when the world is quiet and there are no demands.

To de-stress I flop on the couch with a pile of calm and content dogs and cats and watch painfully trashy TV.

Talkback radio keeps me company and engaged with what our country is up to.

I love inventing natural products that heal or solve a problem.

I’d like to follow Anita Roddick’s lead and use my formulating skills to make natural, ethical products that inspire and improve the world.

I am obsessed with digging deeper and trying harder. If there was a course in problem solving and not giving up, I think I could teach it!

I genuinely think that my Mum and Dad have been my gurus. They were the perfect role models.

What keeps me inspired and motivated? Rising to challenges and problem solving… but ultimately saving lives and facilitating change.

I am passionate about building a sustainable future for HUHA.

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New Zealand Herald

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