Daring duo prepare for coast-to-coast walk

Daring duo prepare for coast-to-coast walk

A daring veterinary receptionist duo are preparing to put their best foot forward to walk 100km in 24 hours in the name of charity.

Joanne Zeman and Malue Schroder, of Sanctuary Vets in Portsmouth, hope to raise £1,200 for Blue Cross when they participate in the South Coast Challenge on 31 August, which will see them traverse from Eastbourne to Arundel.

‘Push to the limit’

Miss Zeman, who is Sanctuary’s head receptionist, said: “We really want to push ourselves to the limit with this challenge as 100km is a very long way for us, and certainly something we have never dreamed of doing before.

“This is a tough route, with almost 2,200m of climbing across the full stretch, so we have started our training early.”

To improve their fitness and stamina, the pair are taking part in practice walks and swimming sessions ahead of the challenge.

Daring duo prepare for coast-to-coast walk



Mrs Schroder added: “It is such a well organised and respected charity that supports the welfare of pets and owners in the UK.

“It deserves to have as much support as we possibly can give so it can carry on with its wonderful work.”


The pair plan to hold various fund-raising events ahead of the walk to generate funds, including a cake sale and selling items for pets at their Farlington practice.

To sponsor the duo, visit their JustGiving page.



In-text: (Vet Times, 2019)

Your Bibliography: Vet Times. (2019). Daring duo prepare for coast-to-coast walk. [online] Available at: https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/daring-duo-prepare-for-coast-to-coast-walk/ [Accessed 30 Jul. 2019].

Paws For Cancer launches

Paws For Cancer launches

A referral centre in Essex has launched a unique online animal “Paws for Cancer” awareness campaign. Southfields Veterinary Specialists, based in Basildon, has asked people to back the #pawsforcancer initiative by sharing images of their “cancer hero” pets on social media.

Cancer hero

All patients undergoing treatment for cancer at Southfields will receive a “cancer hero” bandana. Every month until January 2020, a prize hamper will be awarded to the hero showing off the most on social media wearing their bandana, with #pawsforcancer in the heading of each post.

Poster boy

Nine year-old Northern Inuit Zeus, who has twice undergone chemotherapy treatment at the practice – one of the leading centres in the UK for the treatment of cancer in cats and dogs – has been chosen as the poster boy for the campaign. Southfields oncology residency programme director Aaron Harper, a European and RCVS-recognised specialist in oncology who also holds the RCVS Certificate of Advanced Veterinary Practice (Small Animal Medicine), said: “Zeus is a remarkable character who really epitomises what this Paws for Cancer campaign is all about.”



In-text: (Vet Times, 2019)

Vet Times. (2019). Paws For Cancer launches. [online] Available at: https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/paws-for-cancer-launches/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2019].

Canine Run bounds back for second year

Canine Run bounds back for second year

Canine Run Bounds Back for Second Year

The Simplyhealth Canine Run is back for a second year with organisers promising the event will be even bigger and better.

Due to be held in Portsmouth on 19 October, the Canine Run 2019 will see more than 200 dogs – and their owners – run 2.5km as part of the Simplyhealth Great South Run Weekend.

Iconic route

Starting and finishing on Clarence Esplanade, the route will take both four-legged and two-legged runners along the scenic Southsea seafront.

The run takes place before the Simplyhealth Great South 5k and the Simplyhealth Junior and Mini Great South Run events.

Doggie treats

An athletes village will be in place for four-legged competitors, which will also be rewarded with a collar tag and treat for taking part.

To take part in the run, all participants – both dogs and their owners – will need to be well behaved and fit enough to run the distance.


Sally Clarke, director of vets at Simplyhealth, said: “The Simplyhealth Great Run series promotes health and well-being and our Simplyhealth Canine Run offers an amazing opportunity to encourage and support the health needs of the furry members of the family, too.

“Canine fitness is all about the right diet, exercise and, of course, high-quality veterinary care.”

Veterinary volunteers

She added: “Having veterinary professionals join the team of volunteers on the day to share their expertise on preventive health is a great way to ensure positive messages are heard by thousands of people who want to keep their whole family, including their pets, in the best health possible.

“It’s a fantastic way for dogs to get involved in the fun and take on a challenge of their own.”



In-text: (Vet Times, 2019)

 Vet Times. (2019). Canine Run bounds back for second year. [online] Available at: https://www.vettimes.co.uk/news/canine-run-bounds-back-for-second-year/?utm_source=VT+Newsletter+List+From+05-07&utm_campaign=0704d0bcdf-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_59c17dfd3a-0704d0bcdf-84498553 [Accessed 15 Jul. 2019].

Last Call for 2019 Applications for the Certificate in Veterinary Practice Management

Last Call for 2019 Applications for the Certificate in Veterinary Practice Management

Candidates must sign up by 1 August 2019

Candidates wishing to sit the Veterinary Management Group’s industry-standard Certificate exam in Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM) this year have until 1 August to apply.

Achieved by VMG members who have demonstrated an ability to effectively manage a veterinary practice, hospital or unit, the CVPM is aimed at experienced managers and members of the veterinary team in a leadership or management role. The qualification tests the knowledge of candidates in areas including management, HR, communication, marketing and financial planning.

VMG Director Ms Georgina Hills said: “Effective veterinary leaders require expertise in all aspects of running a successful business, as well as a deep understanding of the veterinary sector and the CVPM is unique in testing their knowledge across the board.  It is increasingly recognised as a benchmark for excellence and we are delighted to have seen an uplift in applications last year.”

The VMG represents and supports veterinary professionals in leadership or management roles.  Offering a range of resources for professional and personal development, it is a collaborative community within which veterinary leaders can share experience, build relationships and work together to advance their practices and the wider profession.

Further details on the CVPM and the application form are available here: https://www.vetmg.com/education/cvpm/

Vita Animal Health Supports Vital Human Health

Vita Animal Health Supports Vital Human Health

Pet supplements company, Vita Animal Health, has recognised the importance of supporting the work of veterinary charity Vetlife and has pledged to give a percentage of all sales revenue to the charity.

The company has recently launched its range of products in the UK. Head of Sales, Tara Evans RVN, says it has made a commitment to the vet profession by ensuring its products are veterinary exclusive and demonstrating support around important issues affecting the profession. Tara has over 16 years of experience working in practice, “I know first-hand how pressured practice life can become. Vita recognises the key role veterinary teams play in advising clients about the best way to support the health of their pets, often at the expense of their own mental health. We want to build genuine relationships with the people in the practices we work with, because people matter. For this reason, we only supply direct to veterinary practices. The vital work of Vetlife to provide support and advice to all members of the veterinary team is something we wholeheartedly support.”

The discussion around mental ill health in the veterinary profession has opened up in recent years. There is a growing body of evidence of the negative experiences within the profession. In response, there has been a welcome growth in research and development of support resources. Importantly, conversations about mental health are increasingly open and normalised, with key role models sharing their experiences and stories of recovery. Vetlife Helpline provides a listening ear 24:7:365. The Helpline is busier than ever, with 2,775 contacts in 2018, a 60% increase from 2017, and further increase predicted in 2019.

Eve Ritchie, Vetlife Communications officer, says ‘We are delighted that Vita Animal Health have chosen to support Vetlife by donating part of their sales proceeds. We have seen a huge rise in Helpline contacts in recent years which has an impact on the cost to our services, and we rely on donations to help us continue our work.’

Director Sebastian Owen has worked with Vita Europe for 13 years promoting honey bee health. “At Vita, our products and our attitudes are kind to people and animals alike. The foundation of our business principles is to do the right thing; supplying robust high-quality health products to the honey bee and companion animal health industries through people we care about. We are proud to support Vetlife and the great work they do for veterinary teams”.

Vetlife helpline 0303 040 2551 is manned by volunteers round the clock. Anonymised email support is also available at https://helpline.vetlife.org.uk/. The website has a wide variety of resources on topics including mental health, work issues and self-care www.vetlife.org.uk. Vita regularly share the Helpline details on their social channels.

For more information visit www.vitaanimalhealth.com, or contact info@vitaanimalhealth.com

Animal Charity in Monsoon Crisis


Animal Charity in Monsoon Crisis

On Friday 5 July the Tree of Life for Animals (TOLFA) Hospital in Rajasthan, India, was hit by a devastating monsoon flood. An emergency evacuation was launched and many of the 500+ animals onsite had to be moved to temporary shelter.

TOLFA has launched a Monsoon Appeal to buy blankets and bedding for the affected animals, to replace damaged equipment and supplies and to clean large parts of the hospital from the dirty floodwater. Currently, raw sewage is increasing the spread of disease while many of the hospital’s buildings have suffered significant structural damage.

A registered UK charity, TOLFA was founded in 2005 by British veterinary nurse Rachel Wright, who, after working on animal welfare projects around the world, decided to make a lasting difference to animals in a rural part of India by establishing her own hospital.  In years since, TOLFA has tended more than 100,000 animals, neutered more than 18,500 dogs and vaccinated more than 22,000 against rabies. It has also treated thousands of farm animals and run a mobile clinic and education programmes for pet owners and children. Rachel Wright received the RCVS International Award for her work in 2018.

“In the fifteen years I have been here, I have never seen a monsoon this fierce,” she says. “I am very concerned as to what the next two months will bring. Not only do we have all the animals at the hospital to care for but, at this time of the year our rescue numbers skyrocket, because so many street animals are unable to cope with the harsh conditions.

“We would be grateful for any help as we try to repair the hospital and keep caring for the animals which depend on us.”

To donate to TOLFA’s Monsoon Appeal, visit: www.tolfa.org.uk/donate.

You can also follow the appeal on social media:

Facebook TOLFA India and UK

Instagram @tolfaindia

Twitter @TOLFAcharity

For further information, contact enquiries@tolfa.org.uk or call 07835 208529.

Input Sought for VMG-SPVS CPD Programme

Input Sought for VMG-SPVS CPD Programme

Online survey open until 31 August 2019

The Veterinary Management Group (VMG) and the  Society of Practicing Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS) are seeking input from individuals working in practice to help them develop a CPD programme for 2020 which will raise standards of leadership and management across the sector. 

The two associations, which run a joint CPD programme and annual congress, have created a short online survey to canvas opinion as to key priorities for learning and development. 

Mr Rich Casey, Junior Vice President of the VMG, said: “From marketing to HR to financial planning and all points in between, today’s veterinary leaders require expertise in every aspect of running a successful business.   

“We want to create a truly valuable, constructive and evidence-based CPD calendar for next year.  Views from those working in the profession will help us to fully understand what good leadership and management look like in the veterinary world and we will then make sure that the programme promotes best practice in these important areas.  We thank everyone who takes the time to complete the survey.”

The survey can be accessed here:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/VETCPDPR

Search is on to find top UK veterinary nurse of 2019

Search is on to find top UK veterinary nurse of 2019

Blue Cross has begun its annual search for the UK‘s ‘Veterinary Nurse of the year’ and is calling on pet owners and veterinary practices to put forward their star vet nurses. The charity’s award recognises the dedication of the country’s vet nurses and their invaluable support to their veterinary teams, the nation’s pets and pet owners. The award is given to a vet nurse who not only cares for sick and injured pets but also goes the extra mile to encourage responsible pet ownership and improve pet welfare in their community.

The awards will be presented at the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) Annual Congress which takes place from 11 – 13 October at Telford International Centre in Shropshire.

Last year’s Veterinary Nurse award was presented to Tyrina Gibson from Newcastle who was described as “inspirational – a champion for animals with extensive knowledge and incredible commitment.”

David Catlow, Blue Cross Director of Veterinary Clinical Services said: “Blue Cross gives this annual award in appreciation of the commitment of vet nurses across the UK who work tirelessly to improve the lives of our pets and other animals. We are looking for vet nurses who really go that extra mile to support pet owners in their communities who have a significant impact in improving the nation’s animal welfare”.

If you know a vet nurse who you believe has gone the extra mile for your pet or you believe they have made a significant contribution to animal welfare, complete the nomination form on the Blue Cross website at www.bluecross.org.uk/BVNA2019. The deadline for nominations is Friday 6 September 2019.

As a charity, Blue Cross relies on the generous support of animal lovers to continue its vital work caring for pets. For more information, to see pets looking for a new home or to make a donation visit www.bluecross.org.uk.


Win a ‘Select from NVS™’ hamper

Win a ‘Select from NVS™’ hamper (worth over £66) for your practice by answering this simple question. 

Q.What are the five key stages for an effective decontamination and sterilisation process?

Hint – Answer can be found in the July issue of ‘Express Delivery’.


Closing date – 31st August 2019