Emergency and critical care provider also set to offer discounted out-of-hours treatment for PDSA clients and enter a collaboration with StreetVet
Vets Now is launching a £200,000 “Angel Fund” to help vets save the lives of sick pets who might otherwise face being put to sleep.
Every vet working for Vets Now will be given £1000 a year to provide emergency care to animals whose owners cannot afford treatment costs.
It will be at the vet's discretion how they spend their allowance, as long as the pets they choose to treat have a good chance of recovery and their owners meet certain financial criteria.
Vet nurses and other clinic staff will be encouraged to nominate suitable cases for treatment.
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The Angel Fund is being championed by Vets Now chief executive, Mark Ross, who says it demonstrates that the business has animal welfare at its core.
He hopes the scheme will also help combat compassion fatigue, which often affects people in caring roles and can lead to stress and burnout.
Mark said: “Our vets and vet nurses often express concern about having to put pets to sleep because there is no one in a position to pay for their treatment.
“These are sometimes stray animals who have been brought in to our clinics by worried members of the public or pets whose owners are simply struggling to make ends meet.
“These cases are heartbreaking for owners and a tragedy for their pets.
“But they also take their toll on our veterinary staff who all entered the profession because of their love of animals and desire to save lives. The idea for an Angel Fund came from our frontline staff and it’s apt they will be able to use it to do what they entered the profession for.”
All of Vets Now’s vets will be allocated an allowance from the Angel Fund.
Meanwhile, Vets Now has also announced plans to work more collaboratively with two major veterinary charities, the PDSA and StreetVet.
In the case of the PDSA, Vets Now is to offer discounted emergency out-of-hours treatment to pet owners transferring from the PDSA Pet Practice Service to the PDSA Pet Care scheme.
Those signed up to Pet Care already receive cut-price treatment, as well as a free consultation and vaccination, from participating vets during daytime hours.
Now pet owners who are registered with the scheme and whose practice uses Vets Now to cover their out-of-hours emergencies will be eligible to receive treatment at Vets Now for a flat fee of £120.
In a separate development, Vets Now has agreed to provide out-of-hours care to the pets of homeless people registered with StreetVet in Birmingham as well as ensuring its VDS cover enables Vets Now staff to volunteer for the charity.
The charity was set up by volunteer vets three years ago to ensure homeless people with pets had more widespread access to veterinary treatment.
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Vets Now CEO Mark said: “We already have a great relationship with the PDSA and StreetVet and are delighted to be strengthening our ties. More importantly, however, these initiatives will benefit pet owners who, for one reason or another, find themselves in need of financial assistance.”
Vets Now is the leading provider of emergency veterinary care for small animals in the UK.
With emergency and speciality hospitals in Glasgow, Manchester and Swindon and 56 out-of-hours clinics nationwide, Vets Now is committed to delivering a responsive out-of-hours and critical care service for cats, dogs and other small animals.
Mark added: “Our motto at Vets Now is ‘together, we save pets’ lives’ and these three initiatives demonstrate this perfectly. They also show our commitment to giving people and their pets the care and support they deserve, at the time they need it most.”
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