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Good Samaritans come through for pet owners

Lucy Richardson of Cedar Tree Vets with a patient (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A veterinary office said they were in awe yesterday after a pair of good Samaritans used a Christmas gift voucher drive to pay for the veterinarian bills of 11 pet owners.

Lucy Richardson, of CedarTree Vets, said that a client purchased $300 worth of gift vouchers earlier this month - but instead of gifting them to loved ones, the client donated the vouchers back to the clinic to use to help other pet owners to pay their bills.

Dr Richardson added that another client made a similar donation soon this Monday - this time offering $500 for the vouchers.

She said: “We always did something for our clients during Christmas, but this was something that they did - it’s coming from the clients, which made us feel good to know that there were people out there that would give back to people at a time when the need is great.”

CedarTree Vets, in Devonshire, started the voucher campaign at the start of December as a way to let clients pitch in for the bills of people who were in financial difficulty.

Dr Richardson said participants could put any amount of money on a voucher and offer it as a gift to others.

She said that the clinic expected people to only purchase one voucher and gift it to a loved one, but were later surprised when a client, Nicole Rozon, offered $300 for six gift vouchers.

Dr Richardson added: “She just gave them back to us for us to give out to people that we thought were in need.”

She said that another good Samaritan, Pippa Barritt, asked the clinic to split her $500 donation equally over five vouchers and offer them to whoever they felt needed it most.

Dr Richardson said that the $800 in donations would go a long way to help pet owners who lost their jobs due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

She said that annual check-ups for cats and small dogs cost around $200, but could be as much as $500 for large dog breeds.

Dr Richardson added: “Given the current economic climate with the pandemic people are going to struggle to care for their pets, so this is go a long way to help pet owners care for their animals.

“It’s such a lovely thing to be able to do because people don’t expect it - suddenly this donation comes through the door and we can say ’Merry Christmas, you’re covered’.”

Ms Bozon, 52, said that she felt inclined to donate the money as a way of saying “thank you” after one of the veterinarians saw her four-year-old cat, Minxy, for an emergency check-up after hours.

She added: “I realised that not everyone has the financial means to continue to support their animals, whether it’s a yearly check up or if the animal has an emergency.

"We have a duty as pet owners to take care of our animals – we’re their family and they deserve that.”

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Published December 24, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated December 23, 2020 at 5:31 pm)

Good Samaritans come through for pet owners

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