Once again Sheena and Donna will be heading out on 20th September 2019 to provide more vitally important veterinary care to the stray dogs and cats of Greece. We are appealing to our wonderful clients for any donations you may be able to make towards these animals. All donations will go directly to the strays to provide medication and other equipment that may be needed to improve the health and quality of life of the dogs and cats in the area.
Please leave your kind donations at the practice reception, making sure you state they are for the Greek strays. Thank you as always for your generosity!
As a village practice we love to be involved in local events and the local community as much as we can and the last month has been no exception. Simon ran the dog show at the Brook Fete on the 27th May and Sheena helped with the dog show judging at the Witley fete on the 15th June. Cooper the Giant Schnauzer (pictured) stole the show at the Witley fete winning best in show with his tiny handler! Photo courtesy of Clare Burrows. Both fetes were a lot of fun to be involved with and we hope to be there again next year.
We are very pleased to announce that we’ve been nominated for the Petplan Veterinary Awards 2019. Both Sheena and Simon have been nominated for ‘Vet of the Year’ and the practice as a whole has been nominated in the ‘Practice of the Year’ category.
Nominations are open until 25th January 2019, so if you think someone in the team deserves a mention you can still vote here.
Changes to Pet Travel in the event of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has advised that should the UK leave the EU next year without a deal, there would be important implications for pet owners wishing to travel overseas with their animals from 30 March 2019.
Owners need to be aware of and potentially act upon these implications by 28 November 2018 at the latest.
What you need to know and do
You will still be able to travel to Europe with your pet after the UK leaves the EU, whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. However, in the event of a no deal, you may need to take some additional steps to be able to travel with your pet to the EU.
If you are planning to travel after 29 March 2019 the Government will recommend you contact your vet practice at least four months in advance to check what you need to do.
If you wish to travel to the EU on 30 March 2019, for example, you should discuss requirements with your vet as soon as possible and by 28 November 2018at the latest.
The requirements for travel would include making sure that pets are effectively vaccinated against rabies before they travel. This involves having an up-to-date rabies vaccination and a blood test to demonstrate sufficient levels of rabies antibody.
The blood test would need to be carried out a minimum of 30 days after any initial rabies vaccination and a minimum of three months before their travel date. This means that you will need to talk to your vet about health requirements in good time to make sure you are are able to travel with your pet.
All of the dogs that Sheena and Donna met were absolutely lovely dogs. They have all learned to socialise well with other dogs as well as with people, as this is how they have managed to survive. It is heartbreaking to see these dogs struggling to live. The shelter organiser struggles to run the place with only one other full time helper and several volunteers who come and go. Between them they are trying to look after over 600 dogs, and the organiser never takes a day off, she hardly even takes a couple of hours off. She feels such a responsibility to help these dogs. When she does leave the shelter, it is to visit local schools to try and educate Greek children so that there can be a better future for the Greek dogs. In the meantime, all we can do is try to find homes for as many as possible, and encourage neutering programs to try and reduce the numbers of unwanted strays. A vet could spend several months there, just treating the injured and sick dogs.
We would like to send a huge thanks to our clients who donated a lot of money again, to help cover the cost of drugs for our trip. Sheena and Simon always make up any shortfall, and one kind client even gave 400Euros which helped locally in covering costs and they were able to leave enough money with the shelter to buy another large pallet of food. Sheena and Donna left Greece feeling both mentally and physically exhausted, but feeling it had been another worthwhile trip.
Things at the shelter have improved a little since Sheena’s trip in May. They have the new hospital block, and a few more donations have come in to help feed the dogs, but Sheena still noticed the dogs being fed stale bread from time to time when the dog food ran out. Fights frequently broke out when the dogs became hungry.
Very few of the shelter dogs are neutered, because the local vets are not particularly helpful, and the cost of neutering (even for a charity) is higher than here. This results in a lot of unwanted puppies being dumped, and local people often resort to poisoning or shooting the stray dogs, even though that is illegal. The dog shelter is officially full, but still receives daily calls about sick or injured dogs, which they cannot ignore.
Sheena and Donna concentrated on neutering the bitches, but also tried to help with general veterinary care. Just before they arrived, the shelter organiser was extremely upset, because two puppies had died overnight with haemorrhagic diarrhoea. They deteriorated so quickly, there was not even time to get them to the local vet. She was worried about two more puppies who had become unwell, luckily these two were treated by Sheena, and were doing well.
Sheena and Donna managed to neuter around 30 female dogs and two males. They also treated many sick and injured dogs. This was amazing, giving they were only in Greece for 4½ days. Donna was kept busy cleaning and sterilising kits while monitoring the dogs under anaesthetic. Everyone knows that veterinary nurses are true multi-taskers, and Donna certainly proved this.
Sheena last visited the dog shelter in Greece in May of this year, and had not planned to return until next year. However, when she counted the money raised, she realised that there was £300 left over. She contacted the shelter to offer the money to go towards food and veterinary treatment. The shelter organiser told Sheena that they were desperate for another veterinary visit, as so few vets come over to help, and the vet who was scheduled to visit in September had been taken ill and was unable to visit. Sheena asked around for help, and one of our nurses Donna very kindly volunteered her services.
As usual, Sheena and Donna brought two suitcases full of medical supplies in order to be able to perform as many operations as they could. They landed late morning, and decided it would be best to spend as much time as possible at the shelter, so they changed into their scrubs at the airport while they waited for their lift.
Upon arrival, they discovered that volunteers had helped to build a whole hospital block with essential shelter for the sick and injured dogs who are taken in on a daily basis. This block was already full of dogs waiting for Sheena and Donna to arrive, and carry out their daily ward rounds. Sheena also said hello to a few of her favourite patients from May, the lovely Patsy, who was brought in on the point of death, and Jack her favourite (now three legged) dog. The shelter has also been donated two bicycles which Sheena and Donna used to cycle the 40km round trip from their hotel each day.