Melanie Moore, a Caymanian studying at Aberystwyth University in Wales, raised $300 for the Cayman Islands Humane Society by participating in a challenging mud run on a Welsh mountain in March.
Muddy Mountain Aberystwyth is an obstacle-filled mud run held periodically on the west coast of Wales. Ms. Moore said that while preparation for the 5-kilometer race wasn’t too difficult, it was still a new and unique experience for her.
“I’m a pretty active person, so it wasn’t too intense,” she said. “To prepare I would run a 5k twice a week. I didn’t really know what to expect in regard to the obstacle course. There was obviously a lot of mud, but [all the participants] worked together as a team and made it through.”
Ms. Moore, 20, has been a part-time veterinary assistant at Island Veterinary Services in Grand Cayman for the past six years. She said that working with Dr. Brenda Bush at the clinic was part of what motivated her to pursue veterinary studies.
“She made me realize my full potential and that this is what I wanted to do,” she said.
Ms. Moore is about to begin her third and final year studying a pre-veterinary degree at Aberystwyth University. After she graduates next year, she intends to pursue a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery in the U.S.
Dr. Bush, who has been mentoring Ms. Moore since she was 14, said she is extremely proud of Ms. Moore’s progress and her work with animal welfare.
“I’ve mentored a lot of kids and she really is something special,” Dr. Bush said. “She’s been a really great part of our clinic and we’ve seen her grow into this really poised, intelligent young woman. She really puts her heart and soul into her studies.”
Ms. Moore said raising money for the Humane Society was an obvious choice. “I’ve always been actively involved with them over the years, volunteering and trying to help any way I can. Even though I am studying overseas, I strongly believe that charity starts at home.
“One main reason to raise money for the Humane Society was to raise awareness and hopefully inspire others to do the same,” Ms. Moore said. “They really need a new building, which was evident during the recent flooding that happened here. I believe some people are still unaware about the many challenges they face.”
Jason Jairam, shelter manager at the Humane Society, said Ms. Moore has been an incredible volunteer for many years. “Melanie is really compassionate about animals and their well-being,” he said. “She’s gotten a lot of animals adopted and would always call and see if there was anything she could help out with.
“For the past year or so we have been struggling financially, so the money she raised for us will go towards our vet bills because we have a few backed up right now,” Mr. Jairam added. “We really appreciate the money she has given us.”