Battersea sees increase in pets arriving because owners can’t afford vet bills

(Battersea Press Release) Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is seeing more and more family pets coming through its gates because their owners cannot afford to pay their vet bills. In the first half of 2015, 74 dogs arrived at the charity with serious medical conditions that needed immediate treatment.

With owners finding it increasingly difficult to afford their pet’s medical bills, they see no alternative other than bringing them to Battersea to be treated, then rehomed. Battersea aims to never turn away a dog or cat in need of help, but to be able to cope with the increase in medical cases, the Home needs a new Vet Hospital to continue helping all of the dogs and cats in its care.

Vet Nurse Lauren and Scarlett high res avail

The dedicated Clinic team will be able to help animals like Bluebell who was suffering from a really painful chronic ear infection when she arrived at Battersea.

The five-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s owners couldn’t afford the surgery she needed on her ears, which were causing her lots of pain – they were bleeding and very irritable, and understandably she wasn’t coping well. She underwent major ear reconstructive surgery at the Home, which has resolved all of her problems.

Five-year-old Miniature Schnauzer Magic was repeatedly urinating in her bedding when she arrived at the Home, and under anaesthetic Battersea’s Vets found something hard in her abdomen. X-rays showed two large stones in her bladder, which were immediately removed and were described as the biggest the Vets had seen. These will have been causing poor Magic considerable pain.

For 156 years, the world famous rescue centre has been caring for abandoned, neglected and unwanted pets that have found themselves in desperate situations. Battersea is committed to providing the very best level of animal care to the 9,000 dogs and cats that come through its gates each year and promises that each one will receive the love and medical care they need as quickly as possible.

However with more and more animals requiring urgent time with its vets, the Home’s 18-year-old Clinic is struggling. In 2014 Battersea’s Clinic carried out 4719 operations, which is an average of 19 operations a day.

Battersea’s Head Vet, Shaun Opperman, who has been helping sick animals at the Home for over 20 years, said: “A new and improved Vet Hospital will make a huge difference to the level of care our Clinic team are able to give.

“At the moment, we have a team of 35 Vets and Vet Nurses working in a confined space and the new facilities will allow us to increase the procedures we perform and provide more care to our patients.

“Now, more than ever, we’re seeing more complicated cases and neglected animals coming in, where people can’t afford treatment.”

The Home’s Vets and Vet Nurses work tirelessly every day and perform thousands of operations a year to help get sick animals ready for their new homes. Battersea’s plans for its new, first-ever, dedicated vet hospital will enable the team to help even more animals and get them into their new homes more quickly.

The new hospital will have three operating theatres allowing over 100 procedures a week, a dedicated laboratory and X-ray suite to speed up diagnosis and treatment, a dedicated dental suite to free up space in the operating theatres and spacious and sound proof recovery wards to keep dogs and cats separate and calm, helping speed up their recovery time.

Battersea’s new Vet Hospital will cost an estimated £2.4 million to complete, so the charity is asking people to help by donating here.

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