Thursday 16 August 2012
Think responsibly before taking on an animal
Wood Green, The Animals Charity is urging prospective pet owners to realise the commitment they are making before taking on a new addition to the family.
The Charity is receiving daily requests and enquiries from pet owners who have acquired a pet cheaply or for free and when faced with an illness or accident cannot afford any veterinary treatment.
In the past week Outreach Officer Hayley Hurley has taken 15 calls from members of the public seeking financial help including a woman who bought a dog for £20 off social networking site Facebook because she couldn’t afford to spend any more.
Three days later she found out the dog needed leg surgery and approached Wood Green to pay for the operation.
With more than 500 dogs, cats, small and field animals in its care across its three centres, the Charity is struggling to cope with increased demand for veterinary treatment from members of the public and is therefore urging new owners to think carefully before taking on the long term commitment of a pet.
Hayley said: “There is no NHS for pets and you will have to pay the full amount up front for treatment which could be up to £70 just to see a vet.
“Animal charities are full of unwanted animals; we do not have funds to pay for vet bills when owners cannot.
“Some areas are very fortunate to have a low cost or charity clinic but this is not a given and it is an owners responsibility, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to find the funds to pay for vet bills.
“If you are struggling to afford basic flea, worming treatment or neutering for your pet please do not go out and get another pet!”
Further case studies:
Mr B called because his dog was having a fit but could not afford the consultation charge to take the dog to the vets.
He had wrongly assumed he would be able to see a vet and pay later or that the costs would be less because he is on income support.
Mrs C called to give up her four cats because they had fleas. She had bought cheap supermarket treatment but couldn’t afford veterinary products. She told us it was likely the fleas had come from the kitten she acquired for free just a week earlier.