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Celebrity Spotlight: Dr. Chris Brown
Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 3, No. 4 - July/August 2011

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What is your favourite animal and why?

It's actually the cow! As a kid, I had a pet Jersey cow called "Bridgette" and I've always been fascinated by them. They're actually incredibly inquisitive.

What are the benefits of animals as pets?

I really believe they teach you so much about life and the ups and downs that go with it. They also show that when you love something, you'll get love back.

What valuable advice do you have for families looking for a new pet?

Take your time and try not to be blinded by looks. It's their personality that will decide whether they're the perfect pet for your family! And with so many pets looking for homes in animal shelters, start your search there!

What are your tips in caring for pets?

Obviously take care of the basic stuff like feeding them the right food and always taking care of their vaccinations, worming and flea control on time. Then spend time just watching them and learning what makes them happy. Then if they are off colour, you'll spot it straight away!

What has been your most interesting animal case?

A few weeks ago I got called to a farm because they had an interesting intruder in their chook pen. A 3 metre long carpet python had slithered in and eaten a large marble egg that had been placed in there to encourage the chickens to lay. It was so heavy that he then couldn't move. I then had to operate on him to remove the big lump of stone!

What do you do in your spare time?

I swim, surf and run. I just love getting outdoors and clearing my head with some exercise!

How do owning pets further children's educational development?

I always found that having pets when I was young taught me a lot about responsibility and knowing that the more I learnt about how pets worked, the healthier they would be.

What are your career highlights?

It's probably working with my Dad (who is also a vet) in Fiji following a massive cyclone there. It was great to be able to help out in a place that had no access to vet help and we met some amazing people and animals. And the fact we give each other so much niggle means it's always an amusing time!

What is your most unforgettable personal experience?

It would have to be operating on a wild lion in South Africa a few months ago. While the surgery I performed was a stressful experience, it was nothing on the nerves I felt getting close enough to give his anaesthetic needle!

What motivated you to become a veterinarian?

I always loved being around animals when I was a kid but it wasn't until my dog became really sick with a heart condition when I was 16 that I realised I was fascinated by how they work and determined to learn how to make them better.

Please tell us about your family

There is Mum (Anne), Dad (Graeme) and 2 older brothers, Matt and Tim.

What was your first job?

It was as a dishwasher (or kitchen attendant) in a Sizzler "All You Can Eat" Restaurant in Newcastle. As you can imagine, ‘all you can eat' means a lot of plates need washing!


Chris grew up in the suburbs of Newcastle with his father as the local vet. His backyard was home and ‘hospital ward' to everything from chickens to ducks, koalas, kangaroos, horses, cows, donkeys, dogs, cats and birds.

After graduating from Sydney University with First Class Honours, Chris worked in a clinic on Sydney's North Shore.

In March, 2004, Chris accepted an exciting offer to become the new presenter and vet on Channel Nine's Burke's Backyard program.

In the following year, Chris released his first book, "The Family Guide to Pets" which sold over 30,000 copies and was written to help people make the right decision when choosing a pet.

At Channel Nine Chris was also the animal expert on The TODAY Show and was one of the presenters on Talk to the Animals.

2008 heralded yet another opportunity for Chris when Network Ten commissioned a new factual program Bondi Vet that features Chris living and working around Australia's most famous coastline.

Chris writes the very popular "Pet Page" in Woman's Day and is corporate ambassador for the well known Optimum pet care brand and an ambassador for Assistance Dogs Australia.

Chris is also a regular on TEN's "The Circle" and "The 7PM Project". Chris lives with Rusty, the kelpie and failed farm dog, his pet cat George, a pet yabby Max and two goldfish.

Aside from a new series of BONDI VET, Chris has continued to work on somewhat of an ‘off-shoot profession' of hypnotising animals. After starting with chickens, Chris has recently been honing his skills on everything from pigeons to ducks, mice, rabbits, pigs, cows and even an alligator.

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Dr. Chris Brown - Get Ahead Kids

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Get Ahead Kids® July/Aug 2011

Tales from a Bondi Vet
Author: Dr. Chris Brown
Age Guide: General
Extent: 304 Pages (Paperback)
ISBN: 9780733623929
Price: AU$24.99
Publisher: Hachette Australia
P: 02 8248 0800

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