Vets in a van! We step inside the Blue Cross mobile clinic that visits Islington Green each week

Animal charity the Blue Cross hosts a mobile vet clinic every Thursday at Islington Green. Tom Parry

Animal charity the Blue Cross hosts a mobile vet clinic every Thursday at Islington Green. Tom Parry and Gizmo with vet Jacqueline Rudland (Picture: Ellie Hoskins) - Credit: Archant

Gizmo the Yorkshire Terrier and Pussalina the cat were among patients at the Blue Cross mobile veterinary van on Thursday.

Animal charity the Blue Cross hosts a mobile vet clinic every Thursday at Islington Green. Tom Parry

Animal charity the Blue Cross hosts a mobile vet clinic every Thursday at Islington Green. Tom Parry and Gizmo with vet Jacqueline Rudland (Picture: Ellie Hoskins) - Credit: Archant

The van stops off at Islington Green every week to give free veterinary care and advice to those unable to afford vet bills.

Friends Tom Parry and Sam McCann, who run their own dog walking service out of Islington, were getting five-year-old Yorkshire Terrier Gizmo’s teeth looked at by the Blue Cross.

“We went to the vet at first and they said it’d be £900, then we came here and they said £40,” said Sam. “It’s a very important service, because we wouldn’t have been able to afford the alternative. So this has helped out brilliantly.”

The Blue Cross relies purely on donations. Its vet service is available to anyone on a list of means-tested benefits. But, employee Louise Lee says, this doesn’t stop them making exceptions for emergencies.

Animal charity the Blue Cross hosts a mobile vet clinic every Thursday at Islington Green. Tom Parry

Animal charity the Blue Cross hosts a mobile vet clinic every Thursday at Islington Green. Tom Parry and Gizmo with vet Jacqueline Rudland (Picture: Ellie Hoskins) - Credit: Archant


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“We had a ring-tailed lemur brought in in December that someone had found collapsed over Tooting common,” she says

“So we treated it as a hypothermic cat, and then rang the zoo to ask what to do with it, and they assured us we were doing the right thing. But that’s not something you see every day!”

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Louise is in no doubt, however, how important the Blue Cross is to people.

“While a lot of people would do anything for their pet, some people just don’t have the money. So they’re really grateful, because the only other option is to have them put to sleep.”

Animal charity the Blue Cross hosts a mobile vet clinic every Thursday at Islington Green. Tom Parry

Animal charity the Blue Cross hosts a mobile vet clinic every Thursday at Islington Green. Tom Parry and Gizmo with vet Jacqueline Rudland (Picture: Ellie Hoskins) - Credit: Archant

Veterinary surgeon Jacqueline Rudland, who’s been with the Blue Cross for 10 years, agreed: “I love getting to know the regular clients and hear how much they appreciate us coming to them to help with their pet’s healthcare.

“Many would struggle to get to other charity vets and can’t afford to see a private vet, so it is great that we can see them regularly to see how their pet is getting on.”

The Blue Cross mobile veterinary unit come to Islington every Thursday, and is available from 9.30am to 12 noon and 1pm to 3.30pm. No booking is necessary but you must prove receipt of benefits.

For more information, visit bluecross.org.uk

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