Friday, January 2, 2009

Post-Christmas clearouts?

Our charity shops at 188 Mill Road, Cambridge and 156 High Street, Newmarket are back in action after the break and can make good use of any unwanted presents or other saleable items you may be clearing out. The old retro/vintage clothing shop at 184 Mill Road is now closed, but clothing and bric-à-brac donations are still very useful to us at 188.

We will be saving any really good items for our new shop in central Cambridge and selling lower-value items at our jumble sales at the Mill Road Baptist church. There is still a fairly good market for textile items for recycling, so even worn or damaged clothing, curtains etc. can help our fundraising efforts.

Plans for the new year include increased online sales of books. This will mean some re-organisation of the basement stockroom at 188 because the books we list on the internet must be shelved in order so that they can be located easily when purchase requests come in. This is very important because failure to fulfill orders which have been placed means a negative mark against us and might cause us to be delisted as a seller.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hope this isn't an indication of things to come...

Aggravating message on Janine's answerphone wanting us to take in a nine year old labrador because the owners have now got a kitten and the dog is not getting on well with her. As it happens we're absolutely full up now and couldn't have taken the dog in any case, but it illustrates how the "Christmas Present Pet" problem has morphed over the years.

It's now incredibly rare to have requests to take in animals who were given as unexpected Christmas presents to families who didn't want them, and I think that educational message has got through. What we do see appears to be a kind of "holiday stress" effect whereby people want to give up animals because disruption of the normal routine makes keeping them more difficult; visiting grandchildren or children from a previous relationship are a common reason.

Hello 2009!

Hopefully not starting as it means to go on, with a 6.30 am call from the 24 hour vet to say they'd been phoned by one of the clients registered with our clinic, whose 16 year old dog was suddenly showing alarming symptoms of some kind of generalised allergic reaction.

The owners were evidently in such a panic that they'd forgotten how to make contact with us outside normal hours, by phoning the number given on their registration card. Instead they'd phoned the National Control Centre, who'd naturally said that our clinic is closed on Bank holidays. They'd then phoned the 24 hour vet and been horrified to find that the consultation charge alone for 6.30 on a holiday morning is £130.

Fortunately the receptionist at Vet24 was on the ball (one of the advantages of running on a shift system is that that staff are awake and in their right minds at peculiar times of day) and thought to contact me, so I was able to get them into our own out of hours cover via the University vet school, which is still reasonably expensive at that time of day, but nothing like £130.

I can't reiterate enough. If you are very strapped for cash it is more vital than ever that you make sure you understand how your own vet's out of hours cover works. If an animal is off-colour just before a holiday, don't hope for the best; get it checked out while the surgery is still running on normal charging rates. If you can't afford a private vet because you are on benefits, get your animal registered with the PDSA, Blue Cross or RSPCA before something happens.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

And another rabbit!

She's medium sized and fawn coloured. Taken to Vet24 by someone who found her wandering just after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More and more cats!

Pretty apricot tortie brought to Cambridge Veterinary Group on Cherry Hinton Road and a black and white tom cat at Arbury road vets. The tortie is fairly well except for a probable thyroid condition and the tom cat has a fractured pelvis which they think will just need cage rest. They're keeping both cats in for a few days to see how they go.