A charity that helps sick animals has shut its doors in Huddersfield due to a shortage of vets.

The PDSA Pet Clinic has been at the bottom of Greenhead Road near Huddersfield town centre for decades but suddenly shut shortly before Christmas.

A sign on the door said the closure was only temporary, but gave no indication as to the reason why.

Huddersfield Hub can now reveal it’s because there is a shortage of vets across the UK and the charity doesn’t know when or if the clinic will open again.

The PDSA doesn’t have a charity shop in Huddersfield either which means it now has no presence in the town.

The nearest PDSA clinic is in Bradford while the closest PDSA charity shops are in Leeds and Ashton Under Lyne near Oldham.

A statement from the PDSA to Huddersfield Hub said: “Due to a severe shortage of veterinary staff PDSA made the difficult decision to temporarily close our Huddersfield Pet Clinic, located on Greenhead Road, at the end of 2022. 

“The shortage of veterinary staff is an industry wide problem, not specific to PDSA or Huddersfield. PDSA will re-open the Huddersfield Clinic when staffing levels return to normal.

“The temporary closure of the clinic will not prevent eligible pet owners receiving PDSA funded veterinary treatment and in the interim they will be cared for at the Bradford Pet Hospital, located on Lorne Street in Bradford.”

Before owners take their pets there they must confirm their eligibility by visiting the PDSA website at https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/our-services?alias=eligibility

The charity relies totally on fundraising and in 2021 provided essential – and often life-saving – veterinary treatment to more than 370,000 pets across 48 pet hospitals, helping more than 320,000 owners.

But the PDSA is urging people to think about the high cost of owning pets these days, especially during the cost-of-living crisis.

PDSA Vet Lynne James said: “While these concerns and difficulties are shared by many, they are felt even more keenly by people on benefits and low wages or those receiving pensions who rely on the support of PDSA. Over a quarter of people we help are retired and nearly a third are disabled, have long term illnesses or are carers.

“Before taking on any pet we advise prospective owners to do thorough research into how they can provide for their needs, including looking into the costs involved in pet ownership. Expenses including food, preventive healthcare, accessories and insurance can quickly add up and that’s without unexpected vet bills should your pet become unwell or be involved in an accident.

Cute but they can be expensive too. Pic by Marián Sicko on Pexels

“We estimate that owners should expect to spend a minimum of £5,000 over the lifetime of a small dog but, depending on the breed, size and lifespan, this could rise to at least £12,200.

“For cats, the minimum expected lifetime cost is £11,100 while caring for a pair of rabbits is estimated to cost at least £6,300 to £9,100, depending on their lifespan and whether they live indoors or out. These are the estimated costs needed to provide for your pet’s essential welfare needs and do not include medical costs or additional care such as dog walking, grooming or pet boarding.

“We would encourage anyone struggling to cover the cost of veterinary treatments to find out if they are entitled to access our services by visiting the eligibility checker on our website. We also have lots of free advice online on how to reduce the cost of caring for pets while ensuring they remain healthy and happy.”

For more information go to https://www.pdsa.org.uk/

  • Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.