Feature

US Couple Stuck In Fiji Raise $60K For Animals Fiji

Here is their story of how a half-dead kitten - found at the entrance to the Nadi Market - changed their lives.
30 Jun 2020 10:09
US Couple Stuck In Fiji Raise $60K For Animals Fiji
Nikki Wynn and Jason Wynn holding Pip-Squeak.

An American couple, Jason and Nikki Wynn, have been traveling full-time for 10 years. They gave up their cushy jobs in Dallas Texas (Jason as a photographer, Nikki as a makeup artist) and decided to create their own adventure.

But when COVID-19 struck, the outdoor enthusiasts found themselves stuck in Fiji.

Their home, a sailboat, is in Tonga. Borders are still closed, so they will remain here for some time.

For the past three months, they’ve been documenting their stay on their website (gonewiththewynns.com) and YouTube channel.

Here is their story of how a half-dead kitten – found at the entrance to the Nadi Market – changed their lives:

“The pandemic has turned the world in a weird, unsettling direction leaving us all with a touch of vertigo. We’re stranded in Fiji (not a bad place to be stranded, we know). The news has become a constant stream of coronavirus themes and just when we thought things couldn’t get any grimmer…we found the saddest thing yet. A tiny pip-squeak, suffering in silence.

But that’s where the sadness ends, because we saved that little pip’s life. You know what they say, ‘you go to the market for bananas and come home with a cat’.

 

Saving Animals During A Pandemic || Pip The Cat

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Ok, perhaps only when in Fiji. But what a fateful find! I would like to say that we saved Pip but the truth is, she has saved us.

Nothing like a downtrodden kitten with an unbroken spirit to remind us of what’s really important. Health, a belly full of food, a safe place to curl up, and little love is all we need.”

Pip-Squeak The Foster Cat

“We’ve been grounded for almost three months now and there is absolutely no word on when we can go home.

But, lucky us, we found a little pipsqueak in need to distract us from our woes. Because we’re not alone, the whole world is suffering in various ways.

Here in Fiji, the coronavirus has affected the animals as much as humans. Animal shelters have closed their doors due to lockdowns, lack of funding, and canceled fundraising events. Which puts thousands of animals in need with nowhere to go.

So, with the discovery of our feline friend Pip and the lovely people at Animals Fiji, we decided to rally our crew. Because while we all may be a little stuck right now, it doesn’t mean we can’t be helpful.

Pip volunteered to be the mascot and together we (you included) managed to do something amazing.”

How much was raised

The Wynns were blown away by the services provided by Animals Fiji and reached out to their online audience to help them raise US$1,500 (F$3263.78) to help 10 animals.

But they managed to raise over US$28,000 (F$60,923).

“It was an incredible experience to be a part of. It’s our first social media-based fundraiser and we are so proud of our community.

“As if that wasn’t good enough, the money is still coming into Animals Fiji which is allowing them to keep their doors open to help animals in need during this pandemic.”

Where is Pip-Squeak

Even though she had a tough start in life, Pip was spoilt rotten by the Wynns.

They described her as “sweet as can be and chock-full of personality”. After returning her to the animal shelter, she has since found a new home.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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