RSPCA’s veterinary clinic in Merthyr Tydfil is marking its 10th anniversary today – welcoming more than 22,600* animals in the past decade.

The clinic at Merthyr provides a veterinary service for sick and injured animals that have been rescued by RSPCA inspectors, and at a low cost for pets belonging to people on low incomes or certain benefits who live in the surrounding community.

l-r Keria Thomas (clinic assistant) Becci Walters  (veterinary nurse)  Jonathan Fitzmaurice (Senior clinician) Sara Davies  (veterinary nurse)The clinic opened in October 2005 and provides an extensive range of veterinary services. These include consultations, operations, dentistry, neutering and microchipping. A team of staff provide expert nursing and veterinary care.

Of those 22,600 animals that have visited Merthyr Tydfil Clinic over the 10 years – nearly 2,000 microchips were administered and the clinic has also provided nearly 10,000 operations – with more than 6,000 of these being neutering operations.

Clinic manager Rosalind Munday-Thompson said: “It is hard to believe we’ve cared for more than 22,000 pets. The clinic is here to support the RSPCA inspectorate and provide quality veterinary care for pet owners on means tested benefits or low incomes and we’re delighted to be able to help these people in Merthyr and surrounding areas and their animals.”

The RSPCA would like to remind people to get their pets microchipped as it gives them the best chance of being identified and returned home if they become lost or stolen. It is also important to register the chip with a national database and update your contact details if you move house or change phone number. More information can be found at www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/general/microchipping Merthyr Clinic kitten pic 1

Senior clinician Jonathan Fitzmaurice said: “Unfortunately there are large amounts of animals that come here but we can’t return them to their owners as they haven’t been microchipped. Microchipping is so important to ensure pets are able to be returned to their owners if they get lost.

“Neutering is also important as it can help prevent illnesses and some unwanted behaviours. It also helps reduce the numbers of unwanted puppies, kittens and other animals too, for example rabbits. But sadly there are many myths out there about neutering. There is lots of general advice on neutering on the RSPCA website http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/general/neutering.”

Mark and Linda Jephcote have been visiting the clinic since 2006 – first with their dog Lucky and now with their dog Joker.

Mark Jephcote with JokerDuring a visit where Joker was given a check up by Mr Fitzmaurice, Mr Jephcote said the clinic provides an “absolutely brilliant” service.

“You can tell the staff all really love the animals,” he said. “They do absolutely their best for everybody.”

RSPCA Glamorgan North & East Branch chairman, Tudor Jones, said the branch have been involved with the clinic from the very beginning.

“Our Secretary at the time who has now retired – Molly Wilson – was involved in the very early stages and the building was named Tŷ Molly Wilson,” he said.

“The clinic has treated a tremendous amount of animals – with many animals having not seen a vet before. We are very proud of the clinic – and it is really needed in the area. It is very worthwhile.”

The RSPCA Merthyr Tydfil Clinic can be contacted on 0300 123 0725. Opening hours are 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday for information, advice and to book an appointment to see a vet. The clinic is closed at weekends. Clients must make an appointment to see a vet.

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.

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*number of individual animals registered at RSPCA’s Merthyr Tydfil Clinic
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RSPCA branches are self-funding and raise money locally to support the animal welfare work they do
The official opening of the clinic was on 22 October 2005.

Microchipping advice
The RSPCA would like to remind people to get their pets microchipped as it gives them the best chance of being identified and returned home if they become lost or stolen. It is also important to register the chip with a national database and update your contact details if you move house or change phone number. More information can be found at www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/general/microchipping
On Tuesday (20 October) plans to introduce compulsory microchipping of dogs in Wales were debated in Plenary at the Senedd with AMs backing the introduction from April 2016.
Neutering advice
Neutering has benefits that apply not only to dogs and cats but also to other animals such as rabbits and ferrets.
Neutering prevents females coming into season, when they may attract unwanted male attention, become pregnant or have false pregnancies.
Neutering prevents the risk of testicular cancer in males and uterus infections and cancers in females.
In male dogs and cats, neutering can reduce urine marking and roaming.
Neutering can reduce aggressive behaviour in mature male ferrets, as well as the smell often associated with them! Neutering a female ferret can also prevent often severe health problems such as alopecia and anaemia.
Unspayed female animals can be messy when they come into season – during this time, females can bleed for up to three weeks.
Animals don’t respect family relationships – siblings will mate. This increases the risk of offspring with birth defects and deformities.
Neutering animals can reduce the risk of them being stolen for breeding.
Vet fees for problems during or after pregnancy and birth can be expensive. Offspring might need veterinary attention too.
Owners have a responsibility to meet their animal’s needs under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Pregnant and nursing animals need even more care, and their offspring will be equally as demanding. When the young are ready to be rehomed, you need to ensure that they are vaccinated, wormed and flea treated, which you will also need to be able to afford.