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Karen Hiestand has been a trustee of International Cat Care since February 2019.

Karen trained as a vet at Massey University in New Zealand, coming to the UK in 2004 after a couple of years in mixed practice in her native country. Since then she travelled extensively, working as a first opinion vet all over the UK and as a volunteer vet in many other countries, in particular being involved in numerous neutering campaigns.

Karen has always had a strong interest in animal welfare and a special interest in cats, which she built on with six years in an advisory position at Cats Protection. She has since held a teaching position at the School of Veterinary Medicine at Surrey University where she led on feline welfare, veterinary ethics and shelter medicine teaching and continues to provide welfare and ethics teaching to veterinary schools and animal welfare organisations.

In recent years Karen caught the studying bug and now has Masters degrees in applied animal behaviour and welfare, medical ethics and law, a BSc in psychology and is embarking on a PhD at Sussex University investigating empathy between animals and humans.


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