Bispham woman furious after PDSA 'refuse to treat' pet dog after 25ft fall
A Bispham woman is "disgusted" after the PDSA would not treat her dog because she works full time- but offered to put him to sleep.
Stacey Townsend, 41, from Bispham, received a telephone call while she was at work on September 22 from a neighbour, who said her nine-year-old siberian husky Diezel was limping in pain outside her home.
She had left the window of her second floor Queen's Promenade flat open slightly, and thought the husky must have fallen 25ft to the ground below.
When she returned home to her dog, she saw he was in considerable pain, but after cancelling her pet insurance only a few months earlier she went to the PDSA pet hospital on Hawes Side Lane, Marton for help.
Stacey said: "I took Diezel to Vets for Pets in Lytham at first, but they said it would be £600 for x-rays, so they just sent him home with pain relief.
"I live alone and work 30 hours a week so I couldn't afford to pay that much up front, that's why I went to PDSA two days later for help."
Ms Townsend said PDSA would not accept Diezel for x-rays and sedation, despite offering to donate £100, because she was not in receipt of any benefits.
The Blackpool pet hospital run by the animal charity PDSA offers low cost and free veterinary care to people receiving benefits, and asks pet owners to make a contribution towards any necessary treatment or consultations.
Stacey said: "A vet came out and took one look at Diezel, they said he probably had a spine or pelvis fracture, and that was it.
"Then instead of offering to treat him, they told me I wasn't eligible for help and instead offered to put him to sleep.
"I was so distraught that my dog was in so much pain, and so exhausted after being awake with him for two nights in a row, that I very nearly said yes."
Stacey is now worried that animals who could potentially make a full recovery are being put to sleep unnecessarily by the charity.
She said: "I think it's absolutely disgusting, Diezel has made a full recovery now, and to think I could have had him put to sleep- something needs to be done.
"How many animals have been put to sleep this way when it wasn't needed?
"They are still trying to charge me £20 for a consultation, but I won't be paying that when there wasn't one, just a vet guessing what was wrong for two minutes."
After leaving the PDSA with Diezel, he was taken to Robert Jones veterinary centre on St Anne's Road in Blackpool, where Stacey was offered a payment plan for his treatment, totalling £496.
An x-ray found that Diezel had a cracked hip, which was treated and has led to a full recovery.
Stacey said she did not think it was fair that only benefit recipients are eligible for help from PDSA, but she was grateful to Robert Jones' vets for helping Diezel with a payment plan.
A PDSA spokesman said: “As a charity dedicated to helping pets in need, we understand how upsetting it is when a pet falls ill or is injured.
“Our veterinary services, which cost over £60 million a year to run, are entirely funded by public support and we receive no government or National Lottery funding.
"We have eligibility criteria in place to ensure that our limited resources are able to help those most in need.
"Every year, our vets work tirelessly to provide 2.5 million veterinary treatments – helping to support 1.7million people in the process.
“In all cases, if a pet’s life is in danger we would always provide stabilising care and pain relief, regardless of eligibility.
“Our dedicated Blackpool vet team aim to provide a caring and professional service at all times, and our primary concern is always the pet’s wellbeing.
"We cannot discuss the details of individual cases but would invite anyone unhappy with the service or care they have received from PDSA to contact us directly.”