Dundee hospi­tal sees av­er­age of 61 pets a day

Evening Telegraph (First Edition) - - Front Page - By CIARAN SHANKS

The Peo­ple’s Dis­pen­sary for Sick An­i­mals (PDSA) was formed by an­i­mal wel­fare pi­o­neer Maria Dickin in Lon­don in 1917 and has been treat­ing an­i­mals in Dundee since 1939.

Hav­ing first opened in the East End of Lon­don, the char­ity now op­er­ates hospi­tals through­out the UK — in­clud­ing the PetAid Hospi­tal in Hawkhill.

The Dundee ser­vice costs more than £678,000 a year to run and the char­ity re­lies en­tirely on pub­lic do­na­tions.

Andy Cage, se­nior vet at the PetAid Hospi­tal in Dundee, said: “The story of the PDSA is a truly re­mark­able jour­ney from such hum­ble be­gin­nings dur­ing the First World War.

“What emerged from one woman’s at­tempts to al­le­vi­ate an­i­mal suf­fer­ing has blos­somed into the UK’s lead­ing vet char­ity.

“Over the last cen­tury, we have pro­vided an as­ton­ish­ing 100 mil­lion treat­ments to 20 mil­lion pets.

“To­day, we look af­ter pets across the coun­try and play a lead role in pet wellbeing, not only through treat­ing the sick and in­jured but through pre­ven­tion and ed­u­ca­tion.

“It costs £60 mil­lion to de­liver our ve­teri­nary ser­vices alone and, with no Gov­ern­ment fund­ing, we rely en­tirely on the good­will of our sup­port­ers.

“So I’d ap­peal to any­one who be­lieves in the PDSA to visit our web­site and pledge their sup­port — I firmly be­lieve it’s the best way there is to sup­port pet wellbeing.”

The PDSA’s first pres­ence in Dundee was at 212 Over­gate. The premises closed dur­ing the Sec­ond World War be­fore re­open­ing in 1946.

Dur­ing 1957, the char­ity had to find al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion due to a re­de­vel­op­ment scheme in the area and premises were found at 40 Tay Street.

By 1971, the premises were mod­ernised and saw the open­ing of the an­i­mal treat­ment cen­tre — the first of its kind in Scot­land.

Andy (pic­tured), who has spent 37 years as a vet at the Dundee ser­vice, has faced more than his fair share of un­usual emer­gen­cies.

“We once had a strip­per come in to get help for her con­sti­pated snake,” he said.

“We tried all sorts of ways to make it go to the toi­let and some­how we man­aged it.

“There have also been a lot of cases of stick in­sects be­ing stuck to sticky tape and we’ve had real prob­lems try­ing to get the in­sects free with­out rip­ping legs off. “We’ve stopped tak­ing in rep­tiles like snakes and igua­nas. “We felt as though we were aid­ing and abet­ting peo­ple who clearly knew noth­ing about the an­i­mals. “We used to have a small range of drugs and used very out­dated anaes­thetic but that’s all changed now.” To­day, the Dundee hospi­tal pro­vides more than 28,000 treat­ments every year and sees about 61 pets on an av­er­age day. But Andy be­lieves that a lot of peo­ple are still un­aware of the ser­vice that it of­fers. He said: “We had a doors open day re­cently when about 350 peo­ple turned up but most of them didn’t know what we did. “We’re mak­ing an ef­fort in our cen­te­nary year to tell peo­ple about the range of ser­vices we of­fer, de­pend­ing on peo­ple’s el­i­gi­bil­ity.” The PDSA, which turns 100 on Fri­day, now op­er­ates 48 hospi­tals across the UK, sup­ported by a na­tional chain of 130 shops.

A CHAR­ITY which runs a Dundee pet hospi­tal is cel­e­brat­ing its 100th birth­day.

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