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150,000 Children Receive Pet Welfare Advice from PDSA

05 February 2015

UK - Vet charity PDSA’s mission to improve the life of every pet in the UK has gathered significant pace in recent years thanks to a programme of education and workshops.

These have reached over 150,000 children with pet care and wellbeing advice over the last four years.

The charity has a tradition of taking its expertise out into communities and, thanks to a funding boost from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, its community vet nurses reached a record 60,000 plus children in the last 12 months.

“In 2014 we adopted a new ‘intensive care’ approach” explained Nicola Martin, Head of Pet Health and Welfare at PDSA.

“Thanks to the funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, our team of community vet nurses were able to target ten pet welfare ‘hotspots’ delivering three weeks of fun, interactive sessions at local schools, followed by a week-long visit from one of our Pet Check vehicles.

"Our local pet hospitals also held community open days, and our Pet Check vehicles returned six months later to see how owners were getting on.

“Children are the pet owners of the future; by helping them to better understand animals’ needs we can improve the lives of generations of pets to come.”

Five PDSA Community Vet Nurses visited over 400 schools throughout 2014, delivering more than 1,000 workshops. Alongside this the charity’s Pet Check vehicles provided a thorough health and wellbeing assessment of local dogs’ five welfare needs – environment, behaviour, diet, companionship and health.

Over 8,000 people visited the Pet Check vehicles on their 2014 tour, and nearly 4,500 dogs were given free wellbeing checks. Return visits also took place in each targeted area, revealing significant improvements in the wellbeing of the dogs that had been for an assessment.

In early March only a third (34 per cent) of the dogs seen were assessed as having a good diet, while 61 per cent were identified as needing changes to improve their diet.

By the end of the year, these same areas reported that more than half of dogs (51 per cent) were now having their dietary needs met properly – an increase of 17 per cent.

Similarly, preventive health improved from just one-in-five dogs having their needs met, to one-in-three being in tip-top condition by the end of the year.

Nicola continued: “We know that owners love their pets, and by working with owners to share our expert advice we are able to help turn their affection into positive action that improves the lives of their pets.”

Areas targeted included North Lanarkshire, Birmingham, Merseyside, Bridgend in Wales, Basildon and Erewash. The pet welfare ‘hotspots’ were identified with the help of the charity’s annual PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, and working closely with local partners, the team were able to focus activity in key areas of concern.

In early 2014, PDSA’s education programme was one of several pet welfare programmes selected to benefit from a £600,000 cash injection, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

ThePetSite News Desk

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