‘Traumatic memories’ brought back for Chichester dog owner after long journey to have pet treated

A dog lover from Chichester was afraid lighting would strike twice when her pet was unable to see a local vet late at night, bringing back ‘traumatic memories’.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 4:11 pm
ks170983-3 Chi North Mundham Gala phot kate Rosemary Charmick with Evie who came first in the 'Most Appealing Scruff' category.ks170983-3 SUS-170716-152023008

Rosemary Charnick, 58, is calling for there to be an out of hours veterinary service in Chichester, after she had to travel 17 miles to Storrington when her dog Evie appeared to have a seizure in December.

It comes three years after Rosemary lost her ‘elderly and ailing’ rescue dog, Tia, after she had to travel 18 miles to Portsmouth.

Rosemary said: “One sad night she became unwell and we needed to get veterinary service urgently to either give her comfort or for euthanasia to give her peace from her agony.

Chichester resident Rosemary Charnick said her rescue dog Tia died at 'the grand age of 16' after suffering a seizure on the way to the nearest out of hours vets in Portsmouth SUS-200129-115323001

“We found that we needed to take her to Portsmouth, the nearest vet on call and not knowing where this place was we became lost and time was ticking with our dog starting to appear to have seizures. When we eventually arrived at the vet practice we knocked the door and no one came. It was only when I telephoned that some one came to the door. By this time our poor pet had drawn her last breath and died in our arms on the doorstep.

“Three years later with our new pet dog, a small Chihuahua cross, appeared to have a distressing seizure at midnight in late December. This of course brought traumatic memories to mind of our previous experience.”

Rosemary said she wants to know why there is no veterinary cover in Chichester out of hours.

“There are a number of practices in Chichester, so why could they not between them provide an out of hours service,” she said. “The lack of a local 24-hour support is both sad and unacceptable. The nearest vet being such a distance just adds to the pain and anxiety of both pets and their owners alike.”

A spokesperson for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals said all vets must ensure there is out-of-hours emergency provision. They added: “This may be at a different practice or premises but should be within a reasonable distance of the client’s usual practice. Home callouts are offered on a discretionary basis, and are dependent on many factors.”

Responding to these concerns, People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) said ‘all eligible clients’ qualify to access the services at Portsmouth as it’s the ‘nearest Pet Hospital to Chichester’.

A spokesperson added: “All vets have to take steps to ensure that there is out-of-hours emergency provision for their practice. This may be at a different practice or premises, but should be within a reasonable distance of the client’s usual practice. Home callouts are offered on a discretionary basis, and are dependent on many factors.”