A CABOOLTURE pet owner has raised concerns about the lack of 24-hour vet services in the region.
When Mandy Walker received a knock on her front door last month to say her cat Ron Weasley had been hit by a car, she was desperate to save her furry friend.
She said the three-year-old, much-loved cat had snuck out while her daughter was taking out the rubbish.
"I thought he was in the house; when someone came to the door and told me, I said it wasn't my cat, as he was inside. Then I realised that wasn't the case," she said.
"I was devastated when I realised. I got a towel and picked him up. I rang the vet at Caboolture and got nothing but an answering machine."
As the call was after hours, Ms Walker said the phone message referred her to the nearest 24-hour Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre and Animal Hospital at Albany Creek, which was half an hour's drive away.
"I couldn't believe I was being diverted to Brisbane," she said.
"I ended up driving there, as I had nowhere else, but it was very stressful trying to get directions there. The staff didn't even know how to give me directions from Caboolture."
Sadly, by the time Ms Walker had arrived at Albany Creek, Ron Weasley had already passed away in the car.
"It was pretty upsetting for me. We pay all this money to our vets to have our pets desexed and microchipped but when you really need them for help you can't access them," she said.
"I think there should be a 24-hour vet service in Caboolture, and existing vets should make it more known that they cannot be accessed after hours."
Unfortunately, Ms Walker wasn't the only one who had lost a pet on the way to the vet. Many turned to the Caboolture News Facebook page to share their own story.
Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre director Dr Rodney Straw, from Albany Creek, felt while it was ideal to have 24-hour services for all animals, the high cost involved with running the service hindered the possibility.
"It is extremely costly for a local vet to operate 24/7. There is the cost of staff, running a state-of-the-art facility, expensive equipment and drugs and supplies," Dr Straw said.
"We at BVSC and Animal Hospital are set up to accommodate these through-the-night emergencies.
"As well as being fully staffed with well-trained professionals, we have three modern surgical suites, ventilators, pumps, monitors and other sophisticated equipment for caring for very critical patients, as well as a CT scanner, digital X-ray equipment, modern ultrasound equipment and a fully equipped in-house laboratory for on-the-spot blood and other testing."
The Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre and Animal Hospital telephones are manned 24/7.
Phone 3264. 9400 any time, day or night, even on weekends and public holidays.
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