Veterinary experts at The University of Nottingham have been helping to offer free care to pet owners in Derby as part of a scheme to tackle a cat overpopulation crisis in one area of the city.
Staff and students from the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science joined forces with the Cats Protection East Midlands Neutering Campaign and Derby RSPCA Abbey Street Animal Rehoming Centre to offer free cat neutering to low income homes in the Osmaston area.
Teams of volunteers from the two charities knocked on the doors of 3,000 homes in Osmaston and an additional 500 houses in Old Sinfin to offer householders help with their animals.
Over the weekend, they provided free transport, neutering, microchipping and flea and worming treatments for more than 70 cats and kittens, using the facilities of Abdul Rehman, owner of Blagreaves Veterinary Centre in Littleover, who lent the volunteers his surgery for the weekend.
Hard work and enthusiasm
Dr Jenny Stavisky is a lecturer in Shelter Medicine (the branch of veterinary medicine concerned with charity medicine and pet overpopulation) at the Vet School.
She said: “This has been a wonderful opportunity to support the collective approach being taken to address the cat overpopulation and to provide a valuable service to people who would otherwise have difficulty accessing veterinary care.
“The veterinary students gained valuable experience which they will use throughout their careers, and the hard work and enthusiasm of all involved was exceptional. We are also extremely grateful to Abdul, who showed incredible generosity in lending us his practice for the weekend.”
The DE24 or Osmaston area is one of a number of postcodes in Derby where Cats Protection have identified levels of deprivation and animal welfare need. Osmaston is the most deprived community according to Government deprivation statistics and is one of Derby City Council’s five priority areas.
RSPCA collection and complaint data, multicat household information, Cats Protection statistics and housing association intelligence were also used to establish the significant animal welfare need.
Vital preventative care
In addition to the free cat neutering, microchipping and transport, the volunteers also offered free dog neutering, microchipping and transport and carried out a number of in-home microchipping procedures for cats and dogs which had already been neutered. Derby RSPCA financed the dog neutering and all the microchipping.
Cats Protection are continuing to offer unlimited free cat neutering to eligible residents until the end of July at Blagreaves Veterinary Centre and White Cross Vets in Alvaston.
Rachele Follini, Neutering Officer for the Cats Protection, said: “We are extremely grateful to all the vets, staff and students involved for volunteering their time and expertise and providing a highly professional and caring service to the 70 cats and kittens neutered. We have received excellent feedback from residents and many have passed our details on to friends and family members who would also like to take up the offer.”
Deb Peck, Branch Manager for the RSPCA in Derby, added: “This has been an incredible experience – hard work by all concerned but so rewarding. Working in partnership with Cats Protection, The University of Nottingham and Blagreaves Veterinary Centre, we have neutered many cats which would not have otherwise received this vital preventative care.
“In addition, we have microchipped almost 150 animals and have a list of almost 50 dogs to neuter, many of which have already had many litters of pups. Derby RSPCA is proud to be a part of this venture and looks forward to being similarly involved in the future.”
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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 a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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