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Animal ambulance to offer free clinic

09:46 14 November 2012

Celebrating news of the North Devon Animal Ambulance expansion is Raimonda Bunikiene and Alan Jaques from Market Vets plus Aly Schwind, Diana Lewis and Jeff Harper from the charity, plus a few canine friends.

Celebrating news of the North Devon Animal Ambulance expansion is Raimonda Bunikiene and Alan Jaques from Market Vets plus Aly Schwind, Diana Lewis and Jeff Harper from the charity, plus a few canine friends.

Archant

Thanks to generous gift, animal welfare charity North Devon Animal Ambulance will be expanding.

AFTER a testing 12 months North Devon Animal Ambulance has received news to end the year on a high by expanding to offer a free weekly veterinary clinic to those in need.

It is thanks to a very generous gift from Market Vets, which has invited the charity to take over the premises they share at Pottington in Barnstaple, giving it more space, a waiting room and consulting rooms.

Plus the practice has donated the services of a vet free of charge for one day a week, which means in the new year the charity will open a new day clinic offering free vet consultation and treatment for those who can least afford it.

Market Vets is not going far, moving to a larger unit just across the road after outgrowing its present home.

The announcement of the double gift was made by Market Vets managing director Alan Jaques during the charity’s Annual General Meeting at Portmore Golf Club on Wednesday, much to the delight and surprise of the 112 in attendance.

It was especially welcome following a long year for the charity, which saw its former treasurer Jennifer Colenso sent to jail for defrauding it of almost £100,000.

Ever increasing numbers of homeless or unwanted animals, as well as various rescues, has seen the charity deal with more than 2,000 creatures this year, stretching it to the limit.

The expansion announcement has been a huge boost and since then vets from other practices have come forward to volunteer too and it is hoped the new clinic will be open for more than one day a week.

“It is an amazingly generous offer the NDAA and animal welfare in North Devon has received, it’s a huge thing for the area and we are absolutely delighted,” said Diana Lewis at the charity.

“The huge amount of savings this will mean for the charity on consultations and vet fees will be spent on treatment.

“There’s a large section of society who may not be on benefits, such as pensioners or those on basic wages, who can afford day-to-day animal care but not the unexpected.

“The special care unit and our rehoming unit are full to capacity, so with the extra space we will be able to deal with more animals.

“We’ll also have our own headquarters for the first time.”

Alan added: “We thought a good way of using it would be to give the rest to the NDAA and it was a good opportunity to start up a free clinic in Barnstaple that would replace the one closed by the RSPCA last year.

“We are just supplying the building, so if any other vets wanted to offer their services to the charity, we would welcome that.”

The clinic is due to open in January. Any vets who can help are asked to call Alan Jaques on 01769 572176, but it will also need experienced volunteers such as receptionists and veterinary nurses. For all other voluntary roles call Jane on 01643 831592.

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