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Here at Wandering Willows in Northland, we understand the challenge of leaving your furry pals behind.

Our Kennels and Cattery offer a cozy retreat for all our four-legged friends. We're all about finding that sweet spot between professional service and heartfelt care.

With our farm-style setup, we're able to give each guest personalised attention, ensuring every pet feels right at home.

Our small pet-to-staff ratio means plenty of love and care to go around.

Plus, we're dedicated to staying updated with the latest in pet science to ensure we're giving them the best!

For our social pups, we've got small group play sessions led by our friendly and experienced team. We're all about fostering good vibes and big smiles during playtime!

And don't worry, we'll keep you in the loop about your furry friend's adventures here with us.

Our small yet passionate team of five is committed to making sure your pets feel right at home. With our own behaviour consultant on-site, we strive to offer tailored care, ensuring your furry companions receive the highest level of attention for their mental and physical well-being during their stay. We are excited to chat with you about how we can pamper your beloved family members!

Candy Best

Wandering Willows Owner

My journey into the world of animal behaviour and welfare began over a decade and a half ago when I crossed paths with my future husband and his lively Huskamute, Kaiya. Transitioning from solely caring for cats, Kaiya's high-maintenance needs propelled me into a deeper understanding of animal care. As I navigated urban life with Kaiya, I realised the transformative power of meeting her unique requirements.

During my time in England, I worked for esteemed organisations like the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, and PDSA. I also gained invaluable experience in a reputable kennel and cattery environment.

Armed with a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Behavioral Science and Welfare, my passion for deciphering our pets' physical and emotional needs blossomed. Identifying a gap in the pet care industry, I set out to offer a service that blends personal warmth with professionalism

Upon relocating to New Zealand in 2018, I eagerly embarked on the journey of establishing my own Kennels and Cattery, infusing my expertise into every aspect of the operation.

As Wandering Willows continues to flourish, I have carefully assembled a dedicated team committed to upholding the values of care and safety. Our mission is to create a nurturing environment that embraces fear-free and force-free practices, ensuring all our guests feel at ease and content throughout their stay.



Wandering Willows Team Leader 

My passion for compassion has pushed me to explore, travel and help across the world. I worked and volunteered at dog rescue centres in Goa and Ireland, taught English to children with disabilities in Myanmar and Texas, and helped with natural builds in Thailand and Turkey.

When I landed back in New Zealand in 2019,  I started my own fur family of rescues, my dog 'Roux' and cat 'Track' this only enhanced my understanding of how to provide exceptional care.


With a diploma in Fine Art and being a keen artist in my spare time, You will see my artwork popping up around the kennels and cattery.



Wandering Willows Attendant


Kia ora and Malo e lelei, I'm Hannah. I am an animal enthusiast and a primary teacher in the making, and enjoying the journey.

I enjoy spending time experiencing different parts of my country with my two dogs, Benny and Buster, as I learnt how to work with two very different breeds, I wanted to push my knowledge further and work with other people's animals. 

I have learned so much about animal behaviours, key biological things to look out for, to work out the needs and wants of an animal and most importantly, how to cater to each dog as an individual. All of these things are constantly spoken about between our lovely team of ladies to make sure that we do the best we can for your pet while they are here.




Wandering Willows Team Leader 


Hi, I'm Sanja, and I'm the one with the charming German accent.
Fortunately, I had the chance to grow up around all kinds of animals, which is how I discovered my passion for them.

Over time, I ventured in a different direction and pursued an office education, spending the past few years as a team leader in a business consulting company. In that role, I not only improved my communication and teamworking skills but also gained valuable insights into the corporate world but also how much I missed adventures and furry companions in my life.  


In 2019, I finally decided to set off on an adventure, so I travelled around New Zealand for one year. After exploring this beautiful country I made the decision to rekindle my passion for animals and began at first volunteering and then working at SPCA . Through this experience, I not only found my two dogs and two cats but also discovered invaluable life lessons.

My two dogs, each with their own unique challenges, have been my greatest teachers over the years. Through training and caring for them, I've been able to expand my own horizons and develop skills to help me to help and train them. This journey has shown me the beauty of embracing challenges and learning alongside my four-legged companions.



Wandering Willows Attendant




Wandering Willows Kennels and Cattery Ltd.

1415 State Highway 1


Wellsford RD5 0975




By appointment only

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