Not for Profit vets expand their free consultation service

Local veterinary group Animal Trust is about to open two new facilities in the Bolton and Blackburn areas. The group owes its success to the hard work and dedication of its directors Owen Monie and Gareth Haines, as well as its unusual model as a Not for Profit company. Owen and Gareth, two young vets who graduated together from Cambridge Vet School in 2005, wanted to build a service that encouraged pet owners to present their pets early for treatment, to boost animal welfare. Many pets suffer because their owners struggle to afford high veterinary costs, but don’t qualify for means-tested subsidised care through charity clinics such as those run by the PDSA. Owen and Gareth agreed on a model of free consultations for all sick and injured pets, regardless of owner income, with profits reinvested to expand the provision further.

Owen and Gareth Animal Trust Bolton

(L-R) Owen & Gareth

And the model seems to be working, with the group opening their third clinic in Blackburn this summer, and at the same time relocating their main Bolton surgery to a bigger, purpose-built hospital. The brand new Lower Bridgeman Street hospital is just down the road from the original Animal Trust clinic and will have over 8000 sq. ft. of space and ample parking. The extra space will increase their consultation capacity, helping to minimise waiting times and allowing them to expand the range of services offered. The hospital will be one of the largest facilities in the North West with multiple surgical and treatment suites and capable of treating over 50,000 patients per year.  

Together with their branch in Failsworth which opened earlier this spring, the expansion will result in Animal Trust becoming a significant employer in the Bolton area. The group will employ over 30 staff, with a team of 14 vets. Standards of care are high with an emphasis on employing experienced, qualified staff and on continuing professional development.

Owen believes the model is a win-win for everyone, “Our not for profit model and free consultations mean that the animals benefit from being brought to the vet sooner, the clients benefit from the affordable pet care and we benefit from the satisfaction of delivering the best medicine without the pressure to maximise profits.”

The new Lower Bridgeman Street hospital will open on the 14th July and the Blackburn surgery on the 14th August this year.

Pet owners can pre-register for both clinics on 01204 527474 or at bolton@animaltrust.org.uk.