Dr. Cynthia Smillie Dr. Cynthia Smillie

TITLE:
Veterinary Behaviourist

NATIONALITY:
British

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATION:
Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM&S) Edinburgh,  Postgraduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Southampton University (PG Dip CABC) and Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS).

VETERINARY INTERESTS:
Animal welfare issues and behaviour problems in companion animals.  

CAREER PATH:
After graduating many moons ago, I travelled to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and worked first of all in a mixed practice before joining the SPCA to run a spay/neuter clinic in one of the African townships in Salisbury. I arrived in Hong Kong in 1977 and after a very short period in a small animal practice I joined the SPCA as their first full-time veterinary surgeon. I have had a long association with the SPCA, first as a veterinary surgeon and then as Deputy Executive Director between 1996 and 2000. After many years in Hong Kong my family decided it was time to do something different and shipped our 9 animals to France to live in the countryside. During that time I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour and was lucky enough to gain valuable practical experience working in a veterinary behaviour referral practice in England. When I came back to Hong Kong in 2010 I set up a behaviour practice focusing entirely on behaviour problems in small animals. I am delighted to be able to continue my association with the SPCA as a consultant offering behavioural advice to members as well as working with the animals in the rehoming kennels.

REASONS FOR WORKING AT THE SPCA:
Most of my career has been in animal welfare. Working in rescue centres I quickly realised that one of the main reasons owners surrender animals to shelters is because of concern over some aspect of their behaviour, resulting in the euthanasia of young, otherwise healthy animals. Behaviour problems can quickly undermine the human-animal bond and I hope that by working with owners I can help to reduce the number of surrenders, and by helping to resolve behaviour problems I can improve the quality of life for animals and owners. One of the most rewarding aspects of being with the SPCA again is working with the dedicated team in the Welfare Department including Behaviour and Training and kennel staff to improve the lives of the animals by implementing more environmental enrichment, reducing kennel stress and preventing behavioural problems so that animals can be successfully adopted.   

PETS:
I have two black and tan local rescue dogs, Rosie and Truffle as well as two ginger cats, Casper and Nemo both adopted from a French farm, so rather bigger than the average Hong Kong moggie. 

INTERESTS:
Reading, doing the crossword at lunchtime and spending lots of time with my gorgeous grandchildren as well as walking my dogs.

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