Dr Sarah Zito

Sentient Veterinary Member, Scientific Officer for NZSPCA


Sarah is originally from Melbourne but completed her veterinary degree at the Royal Veterinary College in London. She then worked in the UK as a small animal and equine veterinarian before deciding to return to Australia, moving to Brisbane where she worked in small animal practice and got involved with rehoming unwanted animals, particularly cats. Along the way Sarah has ended up sharing her life with five wonderful rescue cats. Her love of and fascination with felines (large and small!) also led to her completing a membership in feline medicine.


Sarah moved from private practice to the University of Queensland where she became a teaching clinician in the small animal hospital. Sarah's interest in and commitment to animal welfare led to her involvement in setting up, implementing, and running the University' Veterinary School's Shelter Medicine rotation for final year students and also completing a PhD investigating the human factors involved in the unwanted cat problem in Australia. After finishing her PhD and work with the veterinary school, Sarah worked as an animal welfare research coordinator with the Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics at UQ, where she was involved with the OIE Animal Welfare Standards in Asia and other animal welfare research projects.


Sarah then moved to New Zealand to work as a Scientific Officer with the Animal Welfare Science and Education Department of the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Auckland. This role involves incredibly interesting and varied work and working with a fantastic team of people who all share a passion and common goal of improving and advancing the welfare of animals. Sarah's professional interests are very wide; they include anything feline related (!), advancing the recognition of animal sentience and translating that into meaningful action, and working on areas of great need in animal welfare such as improving the plight of farmed animals, fish and aquatic invertebrates, and animals considered 'pests'. Sarah also cares deeply about wildlife welfare and compassionate conservation, which overlaps with her other passions, adventuring in the wild places of this world, observing wildlife in their natural habitats, and wildlife photography.