PET lovers and medical professionals gathered to enjoy an educational fun day in aid of an animal welfare charity.
It came as the PDSA Hospital in Cowplain, Waterlooville, swung open its doors on Wednesday – giving the public an insight into the work that keeps the site ticking over and tends to the needs of animals across The News patch.
From 11am until 3pm, the event treated visitors to a behind-the-scenes look at the hospital, allowing them to take in first-hand the operating theatres where scores of animals benefit from life-saving procedures every year.
It also featured a dog show, a silent auction and a host of interactive activities for youngsters.
Lucy Ewings from Purbrook went along with her son, Ewan, her niece, Luna and her mother, Christine – as well as her two dogs – cavalier King Charles spaniel, Misty, and a labradoodle, Daisy.
The 38-year-old from Purbrook said: ‘We rescued Misty three years ago and she’s quite an old dog now, at 11.
‘She has been a patient at the PDSA ever since we got her and it’s been fascinating to visit the hospital and get a look from the other side.’
During her time subscribed to the hospital, Misty has received care for an issue with her heart – for which she has to take medication every day.
Ms Ewings added: ‘The work the charity does is second to none and today was a great opportunity for people to realise just how much it does for animals.’
Not only did the open day attract revellers who use the PDSA service, but those who care for animals themselves.
Becky Veal, in her 30s, embarked on the fixture from Southampton – where she lives and looks after two dogs and three cats.
She said: ‘The PDSA is the same as all charities in that it faces the struggle of funding in the modern age.
‘It would be terrible if the charity did not receive the support it needs to save the lives of animals – so I wanted to come down and play my part in making sure it does.’
The open day, held in Durley Avenue, was organised by the PDSA’s pet hospital leader for Portsmouth, Sam Haig.
Reflecting on the event – which marks the centenary of the PDSA – she said: ‘The work of the PDSA is vital and it’s been fantastic to have the chance to celebrate 100 years and educate people.’