Bristol student vets fund pet vaccines for struggling owners

Bristol student vets fund pet vaccines for struggling owners

Low-income pet owners have been given a helping hand after student vets fundraised to offer free pet vaccinations.

They were offered at an animal rescue centre outreach clinic on Wednesday thanks to the Bristol Paws Project.

The student project has helped 54% more people through its fundraising scheme since last year, a spokesman said.

Ashley, whose dog Bruno received a free vaccine, said he sometimes went without food to afford pet care.

Attending the Bristol Animal Rescue Centre in Lawrence Weston with his two-year-old English bulldog, Ashley said: “Any bit of food, anything I get from here means I can eat more and eat better.”

Offering weekly clinics in Knowle West and Lawrence Weston, the centre offers services such as free health and welfare checks, non-urgent consultations, low-cost neutering and free flea and worming treatments.

Ashley said he struggled with poor mental health but his beloved pet kept him going and stopped him from feeling too lonely.

Bob and Kathleen Greenberry, whose Springer Spaniel Poppy was diagnosed with cancer last year, said they would not be able to afford the £7000 vet fees.

Students at the university set up the Bristol Paws Project in 2016 with the aim of helping people who might otherwise not be able to afford veterinary care for their pets.

Student vet and Bristol Paws Project volunteer, Victoria Challes said the clinic was a fantastic way to get hands on with the animals.

Ms Challes said: “We’re here, we’re getting the training, but we’re also giving something back to our future customers.”

Veterinary nurse and the outreach lead at Bristol Animal Centre, Victoria Oates said their services had been “more in demand than ever before” as families struggled “to put food on the table”.

The centre said it expected an even bigger leap in the winter months as the knock-on effects of the energy crisis began to bite for local pet owners.

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