New vet squad on a mission to protect vulnerable pets
More than 6 million pets are at risk of contracting killer diseases such as parvovirus and feline leukaemia, according to vet charity PDSA.
PDSA is warning of a potential crisis due to the 6.1 million pets not receiving regular booster vaccinations and the 4.1 million cats, dogs and rabbits not neutered. This leaves pets exposed to a range of potentially deadly, preventable diseases such as leptospirosis, womb infections and certain cancers.
It comes as the charity today unveiled a special vet squad to help protect vulnerable pets. Its pet wellbeing ‘champions’, consisting of over 50 vets and nurses based across the UK, has been launched by PDSA thanks to a generous £550,000 funding award from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The new team will educate pet owners about preventive health and encourage uptake of thousands of vaccinations, neutering operations, parasite treatments and microchips to safeguard dogs, cats and small furry pets.
PDSA’s latest Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report has revealed that 6.3 million pets aren’t microchipped, meaning these animals are at higher risk of never being reunited with their owners if they go missing. As of April 2016, it will become compulsory for all dogs to be microchipped in England and Wales – a fact many dog owners are still unaware of.
Nicola Martin, PDSA’s Head of Pet Health and Welfare, said: “Thanks to the fantastic generosity of players of People’s Postcode Lottery this dedicated team of vets and nurses can do even more to promote preventive care across the UK.
“Their support means we can have a pet wellbeing ‘champion’ in every single PDSA pet hospital, making a huge difference in tackling some of the biggest welfare issues facing our nation’s pets.
“This new funding will help us to save more pets’ lives by educating pet owners about the importance of preventing the preventable.”
Last year alone, over 478,000 pet owners turned to PDSA for help to care for their pets - a figure that has risen by more than 50% in recent years. Annually, it costs over £60 million to run PDSA’s charitable service.
Julie Rougvie, Marketing Manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, attended the launch of the new pet wellbeing ‘champions’.
She said: “We’re thrilled that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are able to support PDSA’s new specialist vet team whose efforts will help protect pets in the UK.
“I’ve witnessed first-hand PDSA’s vital work treating sick and injured pets, so I know the funding our players are providing is going towards a great animal welfare initiative.”
Support from players will also fund a number of other initiatives including open days at the charity’s pet hospitals to engage with local communities, reaching over 150,000 pet owners with a preventive health checker, live Q&A sessions with vets and nurses on PDSA’s Facebook page and creating a new range of pet health advice materials.
For more information about PDSA visit www.pdsa.org.uk