Town hall chiefs have linked up with an animal charity to ensure sick pets can be treated as quickly as possible.
Blackpool Council’s benefits service has implemented a new process to exchange data with the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), which has an animal hospital on Hawes Side Lane in the town.
Previously customers had to visit the council’s Customer First Centre on Corporation Street in order to obtain verification that they were in receipt of housing benefit or council tax reduction in order to obtain free treatment for their pets.
But now a secure information sharing process has been put in place that allows the council to email the PDSA with the relevant information instead.
The move was welcomed by Coun Maxine Callow who told a meeting of the full council : “Many years ago if people were on benefits they could go to the PDSA and show their benefits or pension book and get attention.
“But now many people have money paid into a building society or bank, and these delays could cause animals and owners a lot of distress because sometimes with these things every day counts.
“I am an animal lover and know what a splendid job the PDSA does for so many animals on the Fylde coast.”
A council report says: “It has saved clients making multiple trips to the PDSA, as previously they could have been given emergency medication, have to complete the registration process and then return to the PDSA for the rest of the medication course.”
Founded in 1917 by animal welfare pioneer, Maria Dickin CBE, the PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity.
It operates through a network of 51 pet hospitals across the country which include the one in Blackpool.
There are also 380 pet practices (contracted private practices) where the PDSA provides free veterinary care to the sick and injured pets of people in need.
It also promotes responsible pet ownership.