Finance: Vet charity set to begin charging

Veterinary charity PDSA is charging for services for the first time as it rolls out its new preventive medical services for pets.

After successful trials of preventive treatments at six of PDSA's specialist PetAid hospitals, the scheme will be available in all 42 hospitals and branches nationwide.

Clients will be charged a fee for pet treatments, including vaccinations, neutering and microchipping, through a wholly-owned trading subsidiary, PDSA PetAid Enterprises Ltd, which covenants all of its profits back to the parent charity.

The scheme will begin in February next year. It will be phased in to meet its expected completion date of early 2007.

Jan McLoughlin, director of veterinary services at PDSA, said: "This is a momentous decision for PDSA - one that will have a significant impact on our strategic aim of promoting responsible pet ownership.

"It will, without doubt, reduce preventable illness and disease in our pet patients."

The charity said the new charges for treatments would not affect the provision of the PDSA's historic free veterinary service for sick and injured pets.

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