Sunderland Dr Dolittle in line for animal honour

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A WEARSIDE animal lover is in the running for a national volunteer award.

Carl Barvir, from Southwick, Sunderland, has been shortlisted in the PDSA’s annual Volunteer Awards for his outstanding passion and commitment to the veterinary charity. The 38-year-old, who gives up his free time to help sick animals at the city’s PetAid hospital, is up against two other hopefuls in the coveted “Veterinary Volunteer of the Year” category.

Carl joined the team as a volunteer assistant one year ago and since then has become an invaluable member of the team, helping vets prepare equipment for surgery.

Vet nurse David Tate, who nominated Carl for the award, said: “Carl is always willing to help any member of staff, he is very polite and friendly with the pet owners we help and has become a highly valued member of the team.

“He is flexible with which days he comes in to help us out and always wants to give more of his time. The whole team here are delighted his efforts have been recognised.”

Carl began volunteering after a seven-year period of unemployment due to suffering from bipolar disorder and now donates up to three days each week to lend a hand at the centre, which provides free veterinary care to the sick and injured pets of people in need.

“I decided to start volunteering because I needed to get my confidence back and get into a work routine,” said Carl.

“I have two dogs of my own, so I thought volunteering for PDSA would be a great way to learn more about animals and give something back to a charity that cares for pets like mine.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I took on this role, but I wasn’t anticipating the variety it offers, so that was a great surprise.”

The PetAid Hospital, in Southwick, cares for about 140 sick and injured animals every day.

The PDSA has more than 5,200 volunteers helping in its charity shops, pet hospitals and fundraising groups across the country.

To join its volunteering team or find out more about helping pets in need, call 0800 854 194 or visit

The winners will be announced in the New Year.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho