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Vet getting the snip in a fundraiser for Vets Beyond Borders

Dr Pete is getting the snip for Vets Beyond Borders!

VBB volunteer Dr Peter Van Orsouw from Belgrave South Veterinary Clinic (VIC) says it’s time for it to go – his hair that is! – all for worthy causes.

Dr Pete has been growing a luxurious mane of hair for the past four years with the view of raising funds for Vets Beyond Borders, an international charity based in Australia that deploys volunteer veterinarians, veterinary nurses and other animal welfare workers across the globe to deliver animal health and community awareness programs where they are desperately needed.

Dr Pete also wanted to donate his hair to people who have lost theirs through cancer or Alopecia. And so, he has decided the time has come for the big snip!

1. How long have you been a vet for? 

I have been practicing for 33 years. 

2. Tell me about your veterinary experience – do you have a special interest? 

After graduating in 1985, I spent two years in a small animal practice in outer Melbourne followed by one year in a mixed practice on the Mornington Peninsula. 

I decided to start Belgrave South Veterinary Clinic in November 1988 and I'm still here after 30 years. 

Our practice is predominantly small animal, but we also see some sheep, goats and horses along with other exotics as variety is the spice of life. 

I have an interest in Veterinary Behaviour and a keen interest in implementing low-stress handling techniques in our clinic.

3. Why did you grow your hair, how long have you been growing it for?

I’ve been growing my hair for four years. It initially started with being too busy to get to the hairdresser, then realising that I had had the same haircut for 30 years! Then a friend told me how she had grown her hair and donated it to be used in wig making for people with Alopecia (apparently people with cancer use synthetic wigs as the hair regrows). 

I thought this would be a nice thing to do, after all here I am 55 and still able to grow a luxurious mane of hair – like a true Leo.

4. Why do you want to cut it? How did the idea come about?

Shortly after starting to let my hair grow, I found out that one of my close friends from school days was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is the same cancer that caused the death of my father 28 years ago. This increased my resolve to grow my hair for a good cause, or should I say two good causes: helping people with Alopecia and supporting Vets Beyond Borders.

5. Why do you want to support Vets Beyond Borders?

I have been following Vets Beyond Borders and their good works for the past 11 years. I have always wanted to help them in their work.

6. What is your fundraising goal?

$5,000.00, I will be kicking it of with a $500 donation, as I am sure I have saved at least this much in hair cutting costs in the last 5 years.

If we make the goal, we go the clean "No.1 romper stomper look", much to  - my beautiful and understanding wife of 30 years -  Lorraine’s chagrin. Less than that will still see the pony tail come off.

7. Will you miss your hair?

As far as missing my hair is concerned, no. I am currently thinking it is starting to plot against me. I wake up some nights almost strangled in it.

In future, I would like my hair tied back in a short pony tail but could be enticed to give it another go for a worthy cause.

8. Where would you like to volunteer for VBB?

I have talked to VBB's staff at the Australian Veterinary Conference booths many times about volunteering in India or Africa, the trouble so far has be the ability for Lorraine and myself to get the 4-6 weeks off work required. It is still my goal.

9. Any other comments about the fundraiser or VBB?

VBB do such a fantastic job in disaster response and in local third world communities, improving the health of animals not only improves their quality of life and reduces their stress, but improves the health of the whole community.

If my drawing attention with this fundraiser can help VBB in any way then I am very grateful. 
A few words from Lorraine Van Orsouw, Dr Pete’s wife 

Lorraine has helped Dr Pete start up his practice 30 years ago and raised two boys along the way. 

She is a Karen Pryor Academy Training Partner and a Delta Cert IV Canine Behavioural Trainer running puppy classes at the clinic and training consultations. She also teaches at Box Hill Institute for the vet nurses and Companion Animal Services, plus she volunteers at the local Dog Obedience Club. 

She said: “I think that Pete’s hair is amazing and the envy of many a man! But he says that it is time for it to go - I think I might miss it a bit, but it will grow back. He is definitely a true Leo.”

To support Dr Pete's in his fundraising efforts, please visit what-you-think 

The big chop will happen on Thursday 9th of May 2019 at 3.00pm AEST (1.00pm WA time) at the annual Australian Veterinary Association Conference in Perth. 

There will be a live stream of the snip happening on the Belgrave South Veterinary Clinic social media pages on Facebook at or

MEDIA RELEASE, 12th April 2019

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