Greater London: ‘Animal charity life line for cash-strapped pet owners’

Posted on August 27, 2012


Today (27th August), an item was posted in the Streatham section on titled ‘Animal charity life line for cash-strapped pet owners’.

‘… Cash-strapped pet owners are facing mounting pressure as the cost of caring for animals soars.

With the UK in the grip of recession, animal lovers are experiencing sharp rises at the till – just to ensure their pets are fed.

And when they suffer illness or injury, or need routine treatment, a trip to the vets’ is proving to be ever more expensive.

But a lifeline is at hand for pet owners with financial woes and unable to afford private vets’ fees.

At the Blue Cross Merton animal hospital more than 20 staff, including five vets, work tirelessly to treat about 500 animals a week.

Chief veterinary surgeon, Caroline Reay, said: “We regularly see new people who need our services after losing their job or because they have found themselves struggling on a low income because there is simply not enough work.

“Many of those who use our hospital services are devoted to their pets and I’m just pleased that we can help them during these tough economic times.”

The charity run hospital in Merton High Street, which relies entirely on public donations to meet its running costs, saw a 3 per cent rise in consultations between January and May, compared to the same period in 2011.

Ms Reay said: “We receive no government or lottery funding so to continue our vital work in the local community we need our supporters to help raise funds more than ever.”

Since its opening in 1999, the hospital has provided an estimated 140,000 consultations for sick and injured pets.

In 2003, a community vet nurse service was established, enabling people struggling to keep a pet at home to continue. Community vet nurse Stephanie Burch described a typical day.

She said: “I see people who are unable to bring their animals to the hospital because they have a medical condition or are disabled or elderly.

“Today I visited a lady in a wheelchair with an overweight cat that is on a diet and I weigh it every month and apply flea treatment.

“I then visited another cat with an ongoing problem with diarrhoea that is on a special diet and needs a steroid injection every three to four weeks.

“I then went to an emergency to collect a cat that had fallen from a roof.

“Finally, I ended my morning by bathing a dog with terrible skin as the owner cannot lift her into the bath.”

Fortunately, Tia, the roof fall cat, was soon on the mend after being transferred to the Blue Cross flagship hospital at Victoria.

For more information or to make a donation visit …’

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