Who are they?
The Animal Care Trust is the registered charity of the Royal Veterinary College
. They aim to improve animal health and care through clinical practice, education, and pioneering research.
For more than 30 years they have been dedicated to raising funds to support the College’s wide range of activities aimed at improving animal health and care. They fund equipment and facilities that improve treatment and care at our animal hospitals as well as improve teaching and learning of veterinary and science students. They also invest in groundbreaking research that makes a real impact to the lives of animals across the world.
How will the funds support the Royal Veterinary College?
The Royal Veterinary College’s practices and animal hospitals treat thousands of patients each year. Their first-class clinical services and treatment provide a much-valued service for the general public and the veterinary profession.
The RVC is a research-led organisation and carries out pioneering research to improve the health and care of animals. The ACT has funded a number of projects carried out by both undergraduate and postgraduate students from 8-week summer studentships to full PhD programmes.
The Animal Care Trust supports vets, veterinary nurses and scientists of the future by assisting with their education, funding educational projects, and by investing in facilities and equipment to benefit student learning.
Why The Animal Care Trust?
At the events we attend we often get told to ‘put the change in our charity pot’. Sadly, we had to decline and give this back to the customer as, being new to the event scene, we did not have a charity pot. We wanted to raise funds for a charity that was meaningful to us personally and whilst watching the TV series ‘Young Vets’ we found it!
Our first pet was a beautiful Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Brandy, who was a massive part of our lives and family. Suddenly in 2011, when Brandy was 7, she become unwell and was displaying symptoms of pain, had an unsteady gait, would walk in circles for ages whilst panting and appearing vacant. This was so difficult to watch and without hesitation we rushed her to the vet. It felt like what was a long time to find a diagnosis for her and we had many trips back and forth to both our normal veterinary practice and emergency vets. Brandy was not a fan of the car nor the vets and this made diagnosing her even more difficult as she was extremely stressed out by the whole experience. After a exploratory laparotomy, which only found a staple in her intestine (I have no idea how she/why she ate a staple but thankfully it caused no issues) the vet, Sinead, suggested a referral to the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA)
This was a terrifying time for us and it was so hard explaining everything to our 3 young children. The QMHA instantly knew that Brandy was very sick and admitted her for further investigation. Whilst she was an inpatient the team telephoned us everyday and we visited her regularly. The specialist neurology vet, Tom, diagnosed her with an Intervertebral Disc Herniation (Slipped Disc) and recommended surgery immediately. We trusted their opinion and left Brandy in their experienced hands. Not knowing if you were going to bring your dog home at the end of all this was the most difficult feeling in the world – but we can’t explain how we felt so reassured by the vets and had total faith in them to do the right thing for her.
Surgery went ahead and we got the call that she had made it through the procedure – I even sigh a sense a relief as I write this! We were told that they were unsure if she would be paralysed and it would be a matter of waiting to see how she does. The next day we went to visit her and to our (and the vets) amazement she walked in to see us – anyone that has a Staffie will know that they simply cannot control their excitement to see you! The vets explained everything to us in detail, from CT/MRI images, the procedure, aftercare, how the nurses loved caring for her and how she would wag her tail every time they walked by.
A few days later we were able to take Brandy home and start her recovery, we had regular calls from the QMHA and specialist vets to check her progress.
Brandy went on the live a healthy life and other than never jumping up the sofa or on furniture her surgery never stopped her doing all the things she loved – zoomies, walking, belly rubs and sunbathing in the garden. Brandy sadly died, at the age of 13 from kidney failure but thanks to the QMHA she was given another 6 years prior to that and for that we will be forever grateful.