Tommy Bray has been a real trooper supporting local charities in the Redruth area over many years. So when he called me last week to invite me in to see the work of the Cornwall Animal Hospital, I had no hesitation at all.
The Cornwall Animal Ambulance and Hospital (to use its full name) supports local people with the veterinary needs of their pets. They now have around 10,500 customers and typically have about 40 dogs a day coming through the small centre at Treleigh. They have some exciting plans for a major expansion in capacity with plans for a new extension within the next few years.
They offer highly competitive rates to help raise funds from the public but also heavily subsidised rates for those who cannot afford veterinary costs. They have a network of charity shops in the area to raise the funds to allow them to run the centre.
Today I met Vicky and other staff from the hospital. Among the animals at the centre today were a cat which was recovering after being hit by a car and a young ferret they have named Francesca who was found wondering free in Tehidy woods last week.
For many people, particularly older people living on their own, their pets provide really important companionship and the work of charities like the Cornwall Animal Hospital is an important life line.