Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Barking Blondes:Vet fees and a tribute

Joanne Good and Anna Webb

Gavin Gamby Boulger with Ricky Gervais 1024x766 The Barking Blondes:Vet fees and a tributeWhat price do you put on your pet’s health?

This is often a decision pet owner’s are forced to confront before making a trip to the vet.
We know that vets have their overheads to factor into pricing and, in most cases, you’re buying into years of knowledge and experience . However, for every visit, whether urgent or simply a check up, there is a hefty cost to pay.
In illness, the domestic pet is either reliant on health insurance or , as in our case, the finances  of the owner
Choosing the right insurer is so important. Many ‘all purpose’ insurers have caveats that mean a pet can only be treated for one ‘illness’. If a dog suffers from eye problems, the insurer would only pay out once for the dog’s eye. This has left many in the lurch as typically an eye problem might reoccur, but with many insurers can only be claimed for once.
Even choosing a dedicated pet insurance firm can in the long-term prove unsustainable.
With a British bulldog ( not the healthiest of breeds) and an ageing bull terrier in our household…the premiums on insurance means we now confront each trip to the vet with trepidation.  Insurance is not an option.
For the less well off there is the PDSA.
The PDSA (The Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals) has worked tirelessly to help the pets of people in need. For 98 years the charity has provided veterinary services to sick and injured animals. It’s a life-line to thousands of pet owners either income support and unable to afford the extortionate ‘high street’ vet bills.
The PDSA is not publically funded and relies on legacies and donations to survive.
This week we met Phyliss Seymour. For 50 years, Phyliss has supported the PDSA and is the chairperson of the Croydon Guild PDSA. She is one of the dedicated volunteers who has organized charity events such as garden fetes, dog shows and raffles .
Her team has raised over £250,000 for PDSA’s vets and nurses to provide their life-saving care.
Recognised by the PDSA in a special presentation this week, Phyliss was hailed “London’s greatest pet lover”. Proving that perhaps we are a nation of animal lovers afterall.
In times of austerity, soaring vet bills have been blamed for hundreds of dogs being abandoned and up for re-homing in rescues around the country that are already bursting at the seams.
Therefore, it was a huge shock to the world of animal campaigners to learn of Gavin Gamby-Boulger’s  sudden death this week.
The founder of The Wet Nose Animal Aid, with this wife Andrea, the couple campaigned tirelessly to have the unsung voices of small animal rescuers across the globe heard loud and clear. We hope that their goal to unite animal rescues in a ‘WetNose’ day will be achieved. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and animals at this difficult time.
Barking Blondes by Jo Good & Anna Webb, published by Hamlyn, £

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