A Blackpool vet hopes his new role will help save pet owners from heartache.
Terry Ogdin, who works at the PDSA Pet Hospital on Hawes Side Lane, Marton, has been appointed a vet champion as part of a nationwide drive by the animal charity to encourage more preventative care.
He is part of a 50-strong squad of vets and nurses across the UK funded thanks to a £550,000 grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery.
They aim to encourage more people to vaccinate and neuter their pets, and to use parasite treatments and microhipping to safeguard their furry friends from potential suffering.
Terry, who has worked for PDSA in Blackpool for four years, said: “We want to get the message out there that there is a lot that can be done, that is relatively inexpensive, to prevent serious diseases which are more difficult to treat later on.
“I don’t think owners are being intentionally negligent, it is just they haven’t been told or received the information about what they can do.
“It is a very low percentage of pets in Blackpool that are vaccinated.
“When you have a pet that is seriously ill or sadly does pass away, many owners say, if only I had known that it may have been prevented.”
Information leaflets will be available at the pet hospital and people will also be informed about the options during consultations with vets and nurses.
Terry’s appointment comes after PDSA warned of a potential crisis due to the 6.1 million UK pets not receiving regular booster vaccinations and the 4.1 million cats, dogs and rabbits not currently neutered.
This leaves pets exposed to a range of potentially deadly, preventable diseases such as leptospirosis, womb infections and certain cancers.
Julie Rougvie, marketing manager at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “We’re thrilled that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are able to support PDSA’s new specialist vet team whose efforts will help protect pets in the UK.
“I’ve witnessed first-hand PDSA’s vital work treating sick and injured pets, so I know the funding our players are providing is going towards a great animal welfare initiative.”
The number of people nationally turning to PDSA for help to care for their pets has risen by more than 50 per cent in recent years.
Annually, it costs more than £60m to run PDSA’s charitable service.
For more information about PDSA people can log onto www.pdsa.org.uk