A Swindon small animal hospital has donated thousands of pounds to help hard-hit charities affected by a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eastcott Veterinary Hospital, which is based in Swindon and covers both primary care and referral cases, has donated £2,000 to New Start Cat Rescue in Gloucestershire, which works to rescue and re-home unwanted and abandoned cats.
Eastcott, which is part of Linnaeus and Mars Veterinary Health Group, has also donated £1,250 to Blue Cross, a national charity which provides veterinary care for pet owners who can’t afford private treatment for their animals.
Hospital director Niki Burton said Eastcott’s staff were delighted to be able to offer support at a time when charities across the country have been hit by a lack of funding in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Niki said: “At Eastcott, we have quickly adapted to the ‘new normal’ created by the lockdown and social distancing measures and are continuing to provide the highest level of care for our patients, clients and referring vets.
“However, we recognise other organisations may be struggling to run to their previous capabilities, with charities among those affected the most as people tighten their belts in these incredibly tough times.
“That’s why we felt it was important to try to do our bit. Our parent company Mars Petcare invited staff to choose charities to receive a share of the donation and we opted for a locally-based initiative and a nationwide charity.
“I hope the money helps both charities to continue doing their excellent work at a time when they are needed as much as ever.”
Terrie Garrod, New Start’s foster co-ordinator in the Swindon district, said: “We were amazed to
receive this donation from Eastcott, it’s absolutely amazing.
“Normally, the vast majority of our income comes from our charity shop and that all disappeared in the first week of lockdown, so we’ve been badly affected.
“This £2,000 will be a huge help to us and we guarantee that all the money will go towards caring for our cats as everyone here is a volunteer with a full-time job elsewhere. We do it all for free because we just love the charity.”
Eastcott offers both a primary care service and a multidisciplinary specialist referral service offering the full range of investigation and treatment options for ill and injured pets.