PDSA will give Sunderland dogs a free ‘MoT’

PDSA nurses with the charity's mobile vehicle, which will be in the Sunderland area early next month. Pic: Simon Vine Photography.
PDSA nurses with the charity's mobile vehicle, which will be in the Sunderland area early next month. Pic: Simon Vine Photography.
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Leading vet charity PDSA will set Sunderland tails wagging when its pet wellbeing tour rolls into town next month, offering free health MoTs for local pooches.

Veterinary nurses will be on the PetCheck vehicle carrying out health checks, microchipping and providing expert advice.

PDSA vet nurse Tina Scrafton will run through PDSA’s ‘PetWise MoT’ for each dog, which assesses each of the five welfare needs: diet, environment, companionship, behaviour and health.

A traffic light system gives each pet a score, and a personalised action plan to help owners improve their pet’s health and happiness.

Tina said: “We know people love their pets and want the best for them, which is why we’re here to help.

“By offering free, friendly advice and support, we can help owners make small changes that can often make a big difference to the wellbeing of pets in Sunderland.”

Additional services, including nail clipping and ear cleaning, will also be available free of charge, although donations are welcome.

Microchipping, which became mandatory for dogs from earlier this month, will be available for a small cost.

They will be at the following locations: Tuesday, May 10, 10am-5pm, Washington Millennium Centre, The Oval, Concord, Washington; Wednesday, May, 11, 10am-5pm, Redby Community centre, Fulwell Road, Sunderland; Thursday, May 12, 10am-5pm, Hetton Lyons Country Park, Down Pitts Lane, Hetton; and Friday, May 13, 9am-4pm, Dawdon Youth & Community Centre, Queen Alexandra Road, Dawdon, Seaham.

More information is available at www.pdsa.org.uk/petcheck
PDSA’s PetCheck vehicle will return to the area in six months, to see how the pets are getting on.

Worryingly, the charity’s annual PAW Report has found that awareness of the Animal Welfare Act is at an all-time low.

Millions of pets aren’t having their basic needs met, not through deliberate mistreatment, but because owners don’t always understand exactly what their pet’s needs are and how to meet them.

PDSA is on a mission to improve the life of all pets through preventing suffering, treating sick and injured pets, and helping to educate pet owners about the welfare needs of pets.

Last year 4,525 Pet Wellbeing MOTs were completed, resulting in significant improvements to local dogs’ wellbeing.

For instance, 34% of dogs were assessed as having behavioural issues when they were first seen, but 6 months later this had decreased to 27%.

However, there is still plenty of room for improvement, as over a third of dogs (37%) seen during last year’s tour were still not having all their health needs met, and over half (57%) weren’t wearing an ID tag, despite this being a legal requirement for dogs.

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, treating more than 470,000 pets annually across its 51 Pet Hospitals.

The charity strives to improve all pets’ lives through education, preventive care and emergency treatment.