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Issue Date:- 8 September 2008

Increasing numbers of pets being put to sleep due to economic hardship

LEADING veterinary charity, PDSA, is disturbed to hear reports of increasing numbers of pets being put to sleep due to owners being unable to afford vet bills. 

“In many cases this extremely distressing and regrettable outcome can be avoided,” says Sean Wensley, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at PDSA.  “PDSA provides free veterinary care to the sick and injured pets of people in need so if you receive Housing or Council Tax Benefit you could be eligible for PDSA-funded treatment for your pets. 

Putting a healthy animal to sleep should only ever be a last resort after exploring all other options and we would encourage pet owners who are struggling to provide for their pet’s good health to contact us on our freephone number, 0800 731 2502.  With PDSA care, no client’s pet should have to die because of financial hardship.

Indeed, PDSA has seen a 10% rise in the number of pets receiving treatment at its PetAid hospitals and branches in the past year.  The charity will provide over 1.8 million free treatments and more than 200,000 preventive treatments, such as vaccinations, neutering and microchipping this year.  Altogether, PDSA cares for more than 350,000 pet patients.

For those not eligible for PDSA-funded care, taking out a pet insurance policy is a good way to ensure any potentially expensive vets’ bills can be covered and spread the cost.  There are many different products on the market; PDSA for example provides its own insurance, where policies can start from as little as 12p a day*.  Policies vary so it is important to thoroughly research what is best for your particular situation. 

For more information, please visit

*At least 10% of PDSA Pet Insurance customers would pay £7.07 a month or less for their dog insurance, or £3.66 a month or less for their cat insurance (Based on PDSA 2000 rates correct at July 2008 using the profile of all new business June 2007 to May 2008).  Premiums depend on individual circumstances.  Policies are an annual contract, and premiums are paid on a monthly basis. 

Open Day at Southport & Formby District General Hospital

SOUTHPORT Hospital will be holding an Open Day on Saturday, 13 September 2008, between 11am and 4pm, so why not come along and see what makes your hospital tick?  Jonathan Parry, Chief Executive said:- "We are really looking forward to welcoming people to the Hospital Open Day.  It is the first one we have held for about 10 years at Southport hospital, so it is a great opportunity for people to come and look round their local hospital.  There will be over 70 information stands from all the different wards and departments, most of them with staff who work in them for people to chat to.  In addition a number of departments will be open on the day for people to look round, including one of our theatres, the endoscopy unit, the recently opened audiology and eye units and, as something a bit different, our kitchens.   There will also be a cake stall, face painting and a 'Well Teddy' Clinic for the children to bring their teddies for a check-up.  Finally, there will be a couple of performances from the staff rock-group, Bandage.  Everyone is welcome to come along.  Our staff have been working tremendously hard in preparing for the day and are looking forward to showing off the whole range of excellent services they provide.  For those living nearer to Ormskirk, there will be a similar Open Day at Ormskirk & District General Hospital on Saturday 11 October 2008."

Funding Boost for Maritime Industries

AN INNOVATIVE scheme to train more commercial divers to work in Merseyside’s maritime industry is set to receive a much-needed funding boost.

Liverpool City Council’s Executive Board is being asked to approve funding for the project which is part of the groundbreaking Stepclever initiative.  Stepclever aims to transform areas of north Liverpool and south Sefton into a place for new entrepreneurs and successful, outward looking businesses.  Stepclever’s board is recommending that £278,700 be awarded to Mersey Maritime, the umbrella organisation which represents the maritime business community of Merseyside, for two projects.

One would see 10 people training to become commercial divers and provide them with the required technical skills and business training.  The other project will enable school children to learn about the shipping industry by promoting a Maritime Enterprise Board game in schools in north Liverpool and South Sefton.

Cllr Gary Millar, Executive Member for Enterprise and Tourism, said:- “The experts in the maritime industry have identified that there is a significant need for qualified commercial divers and this grant will enable people gain the training to qualify.  But it will also help them to gain the necessary business skills they will need as successful self-employed workers. 

It will also encourage an enterprise culture in schools in an imaginative way and give pupils a better insight into our world-renowned maritime industries.”

Mike Taylor, chairman of the Stepclever board, said:- “The ripple effect that this project could have is enormous and will go beyond the lucky 10 young people who receive this training. Not only will they receive a life changing opportunity to have an exciting career they will instantly become role models in their families and communities because they will be proof that aspirations can be realised even when you come from the most challenging of backgrounds.”

Jim Teasdale, chief executive of Mersey Maritime said:- “Our involvement in the Stepclever project is a prime example of how Mersey Maritime works with partners to highlight careers opportunities in the maritime sector and help local people into rewarding careers.

It is clear from a whole range of developments and projects on the river that the maritime industry on Merseyside is booming, which means that young people coming into this industry can train for a wide range of rewarding careers.

If the maritime element of the project is approved, the Maritime Enterprise Game will not only help hundreds of school age young people in north Liverpool and south Sefton to understand a bit about our industry as well as inspire them to consider a career in it.  But will also provide very specific training for 10 people who will then be armed with the skills they need to take up identified job opportunities as commercial divers.”

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