Vets have hit back at claims that they allowed a sick puppy to die after its owner was unable to pay for treatment.
Yesterday, a heart-breaking post from a chap named Podge Sweeney went viral, relating to the death of his puppy and his alleged ill treatment at the vet.
Mr Sweeney claimed in the Facebook post that the PDSA had let his sick puppy die in his arms because he couldn't afford the fee to have it looked at.
But now the PDSA and Vets Now have denied Mr Sweeney's allegations. They also claim that a relative of the man called and made an appointment earlier in the day but no one turned up.
In a statement released to Mirror Online, they said: "Over recent days we have been subject to much comment and criticism based upon a social media account of a puppy that sadly died over the weekend and was pictured in the arms of its owner.
"We have tried repeatedly to contact the dog's owner to discuss the matter and check some key facts, but to date we have received no response. We appeal once again for the owner to get in touch and, in the meantime, will continue our attempts to make contact.
"As veterinary organisations we are bound by strict confidentiality rules which restrict what we are able to publicly say.
"However, in order to correct certain claims and assumptions, which are both damaging and distressing for everyone involved, we would like to clarify the following, based on our internal investigation undertaken so far.
"All emergency cases reported to us last weekend were offered an immediate appointment to see a vet.
"In this particular case, we believe that a relative of the owner contacted us regarding the puppy in the early hours of Saturday morning. They were offered an emergency appointment and asked to attend the Pet Hospital as soon as possible. The owner did not attend this appointment.
"A follow-up phone call was made by us within two hours of the missed appointment. This was not answered and we left a voicemail asking them to contact us, as we were concerned about the wellbeing of this pet.
"During the original call, there was a discussion about veterinary costs, which would have applied. We would never refuse to see a pet in an emergency if any resulting bill could not be paid in full at the time. (This message was repeated in the voicemail that was left.)
"The owner did not attend the Pet Hospital following this call and no further contact was made with us that morning (or since).
"The door entry buzzer was working correctly all weekend and we are confident that no-one was denied entry to our Pet Hospital.
"Finally, we want to reassure everyone that if any pet owner attends one of our Pet Hospitals or a Vets Now pet emergency service - or indeed any vet - with a pet in need of emergency care, they will always be offered to be seen and provided with emergency treatment."
Mr Sweeney originally wrote on Facebook: "My benefit is not eligible to cover the treatment I only ad £35 odd in me pocket so I couldn't pay it they turned me away me puppy died right outside there in my arms an they still left me I was buzzing the buzzer an all they wanted was fuckin money the dirty bastards [sic].
"Tow do I teĺl my little princess her puppy as died y is money everything to people money isn't everything I told them I'd get the money an they didn't care now look wots happened me poor little pup as died.
"To everyone who as a sick pet DO NOT GO TO THE PDSA IN PAGE MOSS COZ THEY CHARGE AN IF YA AVNT GOT THE MONEY THEY'LL LET YA PET DIE so heartbroken right now."
He has yet to comment on the vets' statement.
Words: Paddy Maddison