Rick Fenny a finalist in prestigious awards

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Rick Fenny
Dr Rick Fenny in Albany

WA vet and businessman Rick Fenny, the star of national TV special Desert Vet, has been announced as a finalist in the 2018 Western Australian of the Year Awards.

Dr Fenny, best known as the real-life vet to Red Dog, the kelpie who famously roamed WA’s Pilbara region in the 70s, is in the running to win the Business category of the annual awards presented in celebration of excellence and outstanding ethics resulting in major positive social or economic impact in WA.

The 69-year-old, who’s dedicated the past 46 years to being a veterinarian and businessman and whose company has invested around $50 million in WA to date, said he was honoured to be a finalist.

“It’s very nice to be acknowledged for doing something you love, and I love running vet clinics, employing people and running my tourism ventures—it’s been a wonderful journey so far.”

Through his company Pets + Vets, the Rick Fenny Group has built a network of 11 vet clinics—WA’s first ‘remote-controlled’ network of clinics—ensuring local residents have access to quality vet services, and often specialist vet services, close to home.

“If people don’t have access to everything they need, they won’t live in regional areas, so it’s been great to able to play a part in helping these parts of WA flourish,” Dr Fenny said.

A passionate advocate for Western Australia, Fenny’s company also owns two tourism businesses—Albany’s Maitraya Private Retreat and the award-winning Ocean Park Aquarium in the World Heritage listed Shark Bay area—which both attract Australian and international visitors.

He also owns Carbla Station outside of Denham and was integral in helping to fundraise for the design and building of the statue of Red Dog in Dampier—now itself an iconic tourist destination—as well as funding a plaque at Red Dog’s burial site in Cossack.

In line with his passion for promoting WA as a global tourist destination, Desert Vet is currently being shown on Qantas flights and plans are afoot for more episodes.

“There’s a continued need to put the spotlight on our amazing state and attract interstate, international and local tourists to regional and remote WA so it’s great I can be a part of that through Desert Vet,” Dr Fenny said.

Award winners will be announced at a gala dinner at Crown Towers on Friday 1 June.

Read more about Dr Rick Fenny, our cover story in the November 2017 issue of Vet Practice magazine.

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