Clinic business

Taranaki’s vet nurse starts her own mobile pet clinic in a bid to improve mental health

Tayla Willetts quit her job as a veterinary nurse in New Plymouth to set up her own mobile veterinary clinic, offering home-based services.

LISA BURD/Stuff

Tayla Willetts quit her job as a veterinary nurse in New Plymouth to set up her own mobile veterinary clinic, offering home-based services.

After mental health issues caused her to quit the job she had spent years studying for, a Taranaki veterinary nurse put her skills on the road.

Tayla Willets completed her veterinary nursing course in 2018 and got a job working in a clinic. But later she decided that the low pay, long hours, workload and stress were affecting her existing mental health issues.

“I could be paid more taking a job with no skills required than taking a job after studying for years,” she said.

Willets then decided it was time to go out on her own and started her own business, Tayla’s Mobile Vet Clinic, based out of her home in New Plymouth.

And she now spends her days on the road, visiting pet owners.

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“We should be able to have basic pet care in our homes where our pets are most comfortable,” she said.

“I do this for the animals that I have lost in my life.”

The 25-year-old had suffered from depression and anxiety for more than six years, but found an outlet in animals and advertised herself as a free dog walker on Facebook Marketplace.

“I have pretty bad mental health, like anxiety and depressions, so I was offering to walk dogs while I study at home.”

She suffered from mental health issues for six years and says she opened her mobile clinic to help improve her depression and anxiety.

LISA BURD/Stuff

She suffered from mental health issues for six years and says she opened her mobile clinic to help improve her depression and anxiety.

After studying veterinary nursing for four years, Willetts took a business course at Te Wananga o Aotearoa in New Plymouth, which she says was extremely helpful in starting her mobile clinic.

Willetts opened his business two months ago and has already started building his portfolio of clients.

She said the more relaxed work-life balance has given her time to work on her mental health while still being able to do what she loves.

“I had to do this for me.”

Willetts, who says she was put on this Earth to care for animals, has now started working with hearing dogs in New Zealand to provide free services to service animals.

LISA BURD/Stuff

Willetts, who says she was put on this Earth to care for animals, has now started working with hearing dogs in New Zealand to provide free services to service animals.

She has now started offering free tours for people with disabled assistance dogs and works with Hearing Dogs NZ.

“I know what it’s like to go through the mental health system.

“I guess the disability system is kind of the same, expensive and time-consuming, and I just want to make people’s lives easier by helping them keep their pets as healthy as possible.”

“I was put on this Earth to care for animals.”