On Wednesday 10 December the student-led ‘Vets in the Community’ will be holding its annual Clinic Christmas party for the homeless and vulnerable and their pets.
‘Vets in the Community’ was set up in 2012 to provide free veterinary care to pets belonging to homeless and vulnerably housed people in the Nottingham area. They run a clinic once a month and every Christmas they hold a special party and clinic. Anyone who uses or works with the clinic will be welcome.
Next Wednesday’s event will be held at Sneinton Old School Hall in Windmill Lane, Nottingham NG2 4QB between 12.30pm and 4pm. There will be hot drinks and snacks and blankets and clothing for humans, as well as pet treats, toys, blankets and winter coats for our four legged friends.
‘Vets in the community’ is an initiative led by students at The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. Dr Jenny Stavisky, a lecturer in Shelter Medicine at the vet school, said: “The students provide free health care to pets belonging to people who might not otherwise have access to vets. Clients are primarily homeless or vulnerably housed, and some are in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. The students also help to provide healthcare for pets in foster care, belonging to people fleeing domestic violence.”
Students run an open-access clinic every fortnight in the Big Issue offices in Nottingham. Fourth year veterinary student, Grace Slater said: “Under the supervision of qualified vets we mainly see dogs and cats, although we have occasionally seen more exotic animals such as rabbits and ferrets. We provide health checks, vaccines, worm and flea treatment and microchipping, as well as treatment of minor ailments.”
Through their partnership with the Dogs Trust and Cats Protection, the students can issue vouchers so their clients can get their pets neutered at no cost. They are also able to signpost other services where appropriate. Through donations from the public and from pet food companies they are often able to provide free pet food and treats to their clients.
So far they have treated well over 300 animals in the local area. A student committee also carries out outreach work at local homelessness organisations including HoMed, a local Soup Kitchen which is also run by students of the University.
Initial funding has come from a Cascade award through The University of Nottingham. Vets in the Community have also received support from the Nottingham vet school, Dogs Trust,Burns Pet Food, Novartis Animal Health, Royal Canin and MSD Animal Health, as well as generous support from University staff and students and public donations.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings.
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