2001 Winners

National Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards Presented

The winner of the National Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award for 2001 is TANIS TURLEY, practising as a veterinary surgeon and partner in Anicare Veterinary Group, with branches in Glasnevin and Clontarf in Dublin. Tanis was presented with the perpetual Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care trophy and a prize valued at £2,000 at an awards ceremony in Citywest in Dublin on Sunday 9th December, 2001.

Second place in the national awards went to TOM RENNICK from Tirboy, Church View, Tuam, Co. Galway and the 3rd national prize went to HUGH O’CALLAGHAN of Cathderal Veterinary Clinic in Limerick. Because of the ethos and consistency of professionalism and dedication evident from a number of individual nominations for all staff, the judges decided to create a special category award which was presented to Tom Conway, Shane Guerin, Pat O’Doherty and the team at GILABBEY VETERINARY PRACTICE, Cork City.

The judge’s also presented a number of Highly Commended special awards to:

  • Finbarr Heslin of Beaufield Veterinary Centre, Celbridge, Co. Kildare
  • David & John MacGuinness of Avenue Road Veterinary Clinic, Dundalk, Co. Louth
  • John O’Driscoll, Glasslyn Road Vets, Bandon, Co. Cork
  • John O’Mahony, Animal Care Hospital, Douglas, Co. Cork
  • Annette Quegan, Barrowside Veterinary Hospital, New Ross, Co. Wexford
  • Susan Roulston, Moneymore, Newtowncunnigham, Co. Donegal

Organised by Pfizer Animal Health in association with the Irish Veterinary Journal, this is the second year of the only national award programme for vets. Some 335 nominations for the award were submitted by pet owners throughout the country, which were then assessed not only on their technical skills but also on their level of care and service to both the pet and the pet owner in each individual case.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Brian More O’Ferrall from Pfizer Animal Health said that reading through the stories received from the general public, it was very evident that a tremendous importance is placed on good veterinary care, because pets are so loved by their owners. “Their pets are loyal friends and an important part of the family. Whilst they are wonderful companions for people of all ages, they are especially treasured by those living alone,” said Brian More O’Ferrall.

“The Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards give pet owners an opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work done by vets. However the awards also highlight the need to care for the health of pets properly in terms of being a responsible pet owner, which is a very important message at this time of year.”

The stories written by pet owners range from happy or funny, to dramatic stories and some particularly sad stories, which ended with the death of a much loved family pet. However the nominations all consistently highlighted a dedicated and professional veterinary profession which has a caring and gentle approach to animals; which takes time to listen to pet owners, explain treatments and often to comfort a pet owner or help them through a difficult decision.

The winner of the Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, Tanis Turley, graduated from UCD Veterinary College in 1987 and worked as a vet in the UK for a number of years. Originally from Co. Down she has been with Anicare Veterinary Group for six years. Always anxious to keep up to date with new and evolving treatments, Tanis has just returned from a trip to New Zealand & Australia which included the culmination of a distance learning programme on internal medicine, through a Sydney based University.

Tanis received a number of nominations for the award, but her winning nomination was from TREASA McCABE from Blanchardstown in Dublin, for her outstanding care of Phoebe and Sophie, two cocker spaniels.

A sample of the top nominations for this award are on line at www.progresspr.ie/petcare.htm

– Ends – Issued by: Progress Communications 056-71895


Additional samples of nominations available at www.progresspr.ie/petcare.htm

Overall Winner, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Vet: Tanis Turley, Anicare Veterinary Group/Botanic Veterinary Hospital,
Glasnevin & Clontarf, Dublin Tel 01-8375543

WHY NOMINATED: I bought 2 black cocker spaniels 4 years ago which I called Phoebe and Sophie. At ten weeks Phoebe developed an eye condition which became very serious resulting in it going totally blue and within weeks she was blind in one eye and had to have it removed. From this date Tanis took Phoebe under her wing and tirelessly cared for her.

The second eye developed the same condition shortly after this and for the following year with the help of Tanis and Michael Woods along with many operations Phoebe’s eye was saved. Since Phoebe was registered with Tanis she has had numerous problems along with character changing conditions as a result of the surgery, but Tanis (being Tanis) never once complained and always showed Phoebe great attention and I would have to say love.

She worked with Phoebe, never once getting annoyed with her and Phoebe was a very difficult dog at times, a very frightened and scared dog but Tanis would on occasion spend up to five minutes hugging her and playing with her prior to examining her to make her more at ease. She is the only vet which has showed this care and attention to Phoebe and I thank her for that. Tanis also showed me great support and gave me superb advice about working with Phoebe to ensure that her beautiful, friendly character returned, and guess what, it has worked.

Tanis has seen Phoebe I would at a guess say 30 times in the last four years. I have been able to phone her and simply get her advice an anything I was worried about. I must say that I could never get a better vet than Tanis – the only one who Phoebe likes.

Now let me move on to my second cocker spaniel Sophie, while Sophie has also had her problems, the main problem and the one which I am most grateful to Tanis for is her incontinence problem. It started with us thinking she had infections but thanks to Tanis’s tremendous and diligent work she quickly and professionally realised it was incontinence. I have never seen a vet cover every possible alternative before but Tanis surely did.

She also did all the preparatory work before organising an appointment with Ballsbridge for me to have Sophie seen by a professional in the field. Tanis told me that there was a procedure available called a colposuspension and advised that I allow Ballsbridge to carry it out. I have mentioned this to other vets in passing and to my astonishment they were not even aware of what the operation was.

During the four days Sophie was in hospital in Ballsbridge Tanis phoned me twice to check up on her progress, and following me taking her home checked up on us regularly.

On one occasion Sophie was in great pain and it was 11pm on a Saturday night and I was very reluctant to disturb Tanis but as the dog was unable to walk I did phone and I still remember Tanis’s reaction, it was one of great concern not only for Sophie but for me also, needless to say she sorted the problem out but I remember her saying to me don’t leave Sophie on her own, take her on your knee and hold her for a while and keep her near you during the night. This is a remark I would expect a vet to laugh at if I was to suggest it but not Tanis. This whole process took Tanis two years to sort out and she never once complained or gave me a short answer.

One last incident I would like to bring to your attention is my mum’s canary.

It was very unwell but not registered with Botanic. I telephoned Tanis and explained that it was not her patient but I would be most grateful if she would look at the bird, she did and although the bird was dying she said let’s not give in yet, she gave him the injections every day for a number of days, told me to keep it by the fire but unfortunately the bird died. It was the care and consideration taken for a tiny animal such as this bird that touched me the most. The way she just held the litlle creature.

Tanis is like that with all the animals I would say. I know the way she cares for my two dogs is incredible, they might as well be her own. It’s like she just loves them.

She had brought Phoebe back from being a frightened, snappy dog to her beautiful, friendly fun loving self. She has changed Sophie’s life and has had a tremendous effect on mine also.

All I can say without reiterating the above comments is that Tanis is a wonderful person. She would have given James Herriot a run for his money, there’s no doubt.

She has an incredible manner and she has no idea how much respect and affection I have for her soley as a result of the care and affection she shows everyone else. She is an example to us all and may I wish her every success in her future as she is one in a million.

Overall Winner, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001 – Sample Nomination
Vet: Tanis Turley, Anicare Veterinary Group/Botanic Veterinary Hospital

WHY NOMINATED: The Botanic Veterinary Hospital is a marvelous place ! All the vets are incredibly professional, the nurses are efficient, but most of all each member of staff cares about the patients and their owners. Everyone at the hospital treats the animals with respect and compassion, and they always remember that although the patients are animals, to their owners they are family, and as a result the treatment and standard of care is impeccible. In particular Tanis is a wonderful vet.

We have two dogs and a cat, and they receive excellent care at Botanic, but is is the care Penny has received from Tanis that has really shown her to be a fantastic vet.

Penny is a shih-tzu which we rescued about 14 years ago. She has had many health problems. She has arthritis, she has had tumours removed (one the size of a tennis ball !!), she has had to have an emergency hysterectomy, she has only one eye, and she is blind in the other !!!

This may sound like she is a crock, but in fact she is one of the happiest, most contented dogs I have ever seen, and this has a huge amount to do with the fabulous care she has received from Tanis.

Unfortunately for Penny, all of the problems she encountered occurred when she was already an old dog. Many vets would not have bothered with her, and would have recommended euthanasia. However, Tanis always gave her a chance. Even when we knew the odds were against her, still Tanis was willing to try to save her. This was especially true when she had to have an emergency hysterectomy. It looked bleak but thanks to Tanis she was right as rain within a few days.

Penny is one of the family. It would break our hearts if she were to die, and Tanis knows how much we love her. Because of this Tanis always treats Penny with the same level of compassion as we do. She has become a friend to us and to Penny, and she is a remarkable vet. In fact all at Botanic are lovely. They always have smile and a friendly word.

When you are worried about your loved ones they offer support. I have seen a few unfortunate people leave the hospital with one less family member, and the staff have proved to be of valuable support to them. And I am not the only one who thinks this, as the hundreds of cards of thanks they receive shows. The whole practice is wonderful, but particularly so is Tanis, and we (Penny included !) would love it if her wonderful work were to be recognised by this award – she truly deserves it !

2nd Prize Overall, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Vet: Tom Rennick, Tirboy, Tuam, Co. Galway tel 093-24546

WHY NOMINATED: On Thursday August 16th, our world was turned upside down. Darkie, our 10 year old Collie was playing, rolling over on his back, I discovered what appeared to be a lump.

My heart sank, we rushed to Tuam for evening surgery Darkie is the much loved pet of my elderly mother – he is a friend, watchdog and childminder to my two children – aged 6 and especially my 5 year old daughter Laura. Tom confirmed that Darkie had indeed a tumour and it needed urgent surgery. He was immediately concerned for my mother – who faithfully brings Darkie for his injections every year.

He carefully weighed Darkie (whose weight is a secret between vet and dog !) then he organised a geriatric does of anaesthetic for him, he swiftly organised Darkie’s operation for 2.30pm on Friday afternoon.

My husband and I were reassured by Tom that he would be “alright” – his heart was the only concern.

He gave Darkie a pre-op antibiotic and then we left for the journey home. Darkie was happy – he knows Tom well and has absolute confidence – he actually enjoys going to the vet.

We spent that night talking and worrying about Darkie – also we knew we had to prepare Laura for Darkie’s operation. On the Friday morning we told her – and she accepted that he had to have the operation and with all the optimism of a 5 year old she stated – Tom will make him better.

It was hard to deprive Darkie of his breakfast but the clock loomed towards the afternoon. Laura insisted on travelling to the vets’ with Darkie. Darkie had always been with her, side by side with her buggy, then on the bike and more recently her scooter !

It was a tearful parting as we set off to the vet that afternoon. Tom re-assured us that Darkie would be fine. He was so understanding of Laura – wanting to see her doggie, he asked repeatedly about my mother. Darkie was put on the operating table at 2.40 and Laura rubbed his paws (we were in tears !).

Tom told Laura that Darkie would need plenty of love and support for his recovery and he told her “he knows he has that”. After a few minutes, he suggested we leave and give a phone call at 4.30pm. We left the surgery – Laura kept saying “Mammy don’t be crying – Tom will make Darkie better!”. She then wanted to buy biscuits for Darkie’s homecoming.

The time dragged until 4.30, it was with fear and trembling we picked up the phone at 4.30. Tom’s nurse gave us the good news. “Darkie was awake and wanted to come home”.

We made it to Tuam in quick time – Darkie was sitting up. Tom had given him painkillers for the night, he had removed the tumour and Darkie was just to have light food and gentle exercise. We took Darkie home – a heroe’s welcome. That night we checked on Darkie every few hours.

The next morning he hopped up and did a short walk, “nice” breakfast. Ten days later, Darkie had his nine stitches out, the results of the lab were back, the tumour was cancerous.

Today Darkie is taking much longer walks, he is in better form than ever. Tom Rennick dealt with us, Darkie and Laura in a sympathetic and understanding manner. How many people would have put up with a 5 year old in with her “Darkie” as he was being knocked out for his operation ! To say Darkie enjoys going to the vet, shows the kindness of the man and this is much appreciated.

2nd Prize Overall, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Vet: Tom Rennick, Tirboy, Tuam, Co. Galway tel 093-24546

WHY NOMINATED: Sixteen years ago, last May, a stray cat arrived on our doorstep heavily pregnant. She had no tail only a little stump like a rabbit and when she tried to have her kittens, she was unable, so we took her to Tom Rennick.

He delivered 5 kittens by caesarean but thought they were all dead on account of the difficult birth. However one kitten cried and he discovered there were two alive. He put them in a saucepan of warm water to keep them warm, as the mother cat was still unconscious. One kitten was handicapped – her back leg and tail had formed together so she had one longer looking back leg. A few months later Tom had to put her to sleep. The other kitten, Nosey, is still alive and is the ripe old age of 16.

She broke her tip twice and each time Tom came to the rescue and she recovered with no problems. She started to loose her hair, which Tom diagnosed as a hormone problem (because she was neutered) so he treated her with Hormone Replacement Tablets which immediately rectified the problem. In general, she had many health problems over the years, from abscesses to Feline Enteritis, but Tom has always treated her successfully and it is thanks to him she has lived to 16+. She is now suffering from Gingivitis and got Herpes in her eye, which made her blind, but throughout all of this Tom has kept her comfortable.

We have had numerous cats (all strays that adopted us !) which in turn have developed unusual illnesses and Tom has diagnosed and treated them all, only giving up when he knew the animal was suffering.

We had one cat that was bitten at the base of his tail by another cat and was paralysed but within 24 hours of Tom treating him, he was walking again and, in time, recovered completely. There was a period where many cats in the neighbourhood were poisoned and through Tom’s quick response and care the cats are still alive today.

Where Tom really shone was with our dog: Three and a half years ago my mother found our dog, which was a stray we acquired 14 years ago, lying paralysed in his bed. We again called on Tom who diagnosed “Lucky” had had a stroke.

Tom asked us if we were prepared to put the work into helping the dog recover, as he wanted to give him the chance if we were willing. We had to spoon-feed him with baby rice as he had forgotten how to eat and after going through dog food, Complan and numerous other soft foods, we discovered all he would swallow was the baby rice ! He had to be turned regularly in his bed so his lungs wouldn’t fill with fluid and Tom looked after all the medical side of things.

Gradually Lucky became stronger and got back on his feet and for two more years had a happy life – he was old and had a bit of a limp like a human stroke victim, but other than that he was fine. Last September, however, he began to get slower and one day he just fell down and hadn’t the energy to get up. We knew he had had enough and Tom put him gently to sleep.

These stories are merely snippets of Tom’s dedication over the years – and we are only one family from the hundreds of families he deals with. Tom has always been there whenever we called on him – even outside surgery hours. He will not give up on an animal if he thinks there is the slightest chance they might recover, unless the animal is suffering. He treats every animal as if it were his own and the compassion he shows to their owners is overwhelming.

We would trust Tom with any decision, as we know he’ll make the right one. He never seems to care about the money (only that he might charge more than people can afford) and if someone didn’t have a penny Tom would treat an animal rather than leave it suffer. Tom has earned great respect in our town and over the years, any person that has had dealings with him has nothing but praise for him and he is truly deserving of this award as recognition for his great work.

2nd Prize Overall, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Vet: Tom Rennick, Tirboy, Tuam, Co. Galway tel 093-24546

WHY NOMINATED: There is nothing remarkable about Rusty, my friend and companion, my Jack Russell. I have no outlandish or unusual story to tell of amazing events in Rusty’s life. Rusty is just good old Rusty, loyal and faithful, “my best friend”. His life story is simple.

When I was widowed 9 years ago, my family (who are all grown up) gave me Rusty. Since that time, Rusty guards the bottom of my bed, licking my toes, sits on my lap, lays at my feet, follows me wherever I go. I in turn groom and feed him like a king, and treat him like a buddy. For me at 76, he is the perfect soul mate.

You couldn’t imagine my horror as I watched the tumour grow bigger in his left ear. At first I ignored it, hoping it would burst or go away. Soon I resigned myself to the fact that Rusty was going to have to be put down.

This is when I phoned Tom Rennick, Rusty’s vet, and he completely took over from there. To say that Tom was unbelieveably kind to both of us is my small effort to put how wonderful he is in words. He treated not just my pet, but me as the pet owner, with kid gloves. I knew that whatever the outcome, Rusty would get nothing but the very best. He said not to worry about cost until we saw what the outcome would be.

The outcome was positive and Rusty survived the operation. Tom’s face expressed my joy – he knew he had saved not just my dog but my best friend.

As I write this, Rusty is looking in the kitchen window at me with an expression on his face as though he’s wondering what could be so important to take my attention away from him as he scratches the window with his muddy paws. When I’m finished I will tell him that I have taken the time to nominate the wonderful vet who saved his life (and in many ways, mine !).

3rd Prize Overall, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Vet: Hugh O’Callaghan, Cathedral Veterinary Hospital,
Cathedral Place, Limerick tel 061-412122

WHY NOMINATED: I have been with Cathedral vets for about 10 years. I have brought in everything from a goat to a duck including the dogs frequently. Hugh has always had a smile, loads of patience, is a genuine caring person and nothing is ever too much trouble for him. In saying that so are the other vets ie. Mike Cantry.

But Hugh is outstanding in his care, even when I have seen him stressed out and tired one time. He is the best.

I brought a full boar pot bellied pig. He started to become vicious when he got to 4 months. Hugh recommended that he go for the snip, if I only wanted him for a pet. I had a special box made to transport him to the veterinary centre. I told Hugh to be careful when opening it as he’d run wild, that he was always escaping out of his run.

Hugh forgot what I said and opened the box and out he jumped, and up and down the surgery waiting rooms, corridors. It took half an hour and all the staff to catch him. He is now 1.5 year old and a brilliant pet. He is huge and aptly named Houdini.

Sheep’s names: Dolly, Jody, Jesse and Jake the Ram.
Goats names AR – Charity she has sent a daughter to Bothair for Tanzina. She is old now. Misty a young goat.
Jack the lad the puck – he has been called other names when he got into my flower garden and ate the lot.

3rd Prize Overall, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Vet: Hugh O’Callaghan, Cathedral Veterinary Hospital,
Cathedral Place, Limerick 061-412122

WHY NOMINATED: Because he is simply the best ! He has looked after my pet dogs Patch & Scruffy with great care, professionalism and friendliness whenever they have seen him over the years. He has a quiet, reassuring manner, and always has a smile.

More recently, my husband was recuperating after having suffered from a heart attack, and was taking our two dogs for a walk. While out, a dog was set on ours, resulting in Scruffy being injured.

I was extremely worried about my husband’s health, and now had poor Scruffy hurt. I rushed him down to Hugh, and even though the surgery was closed, Hugh was in the operating theatre, he finished in there and immediately took Scruffy from me, for treatment of two bad puncture wounds etc.

He was marvellous. I was so distraught and worried, not only for Scruffy, but also for my husband, and Hugh was so understanding and kind.

Later that evening I had to rush Scruffy back to see Hugh, as his leg was swelling up. Again Hugh was brilliant – he looked after Scruffy and in time, Scruffy was well again.

Unfortunately my husband was rushed back into hospital again that night – what had happened while he took the dogs out for a walk, had obviously caused this. He was in hospital for a few days until his condition stablised, and was then left home, thank God.

It was an extremely worrying time for me as I’ve mentioned, but Hugh was marvellous throughout. He is more than deserving of a special award.

Highly Commended – Practice, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Practice: Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, Gilabbey Street, Cork
– vets nominated were Tom Conway, Shane Guerin and Pat O’Doherty. Tel 021-4962799
In January 1999, my beloved dog Bella was diagnosed as having diabetes mellitus and so started a beautiful relationship between Bella and her vet, Tom Conway.

With infinite patience and encouragement Tom explained to me (a typical neurotic owner) the commitment required to maintain a stable diabetic dog. He offered every assistance and before long that offer was sorely tested.

For the first few weeks, Tom injected Bella every day, 7 days a week and gave me his mobile telephone number to ring anytime day or night that I was worried. On the few occasions I rang, he allied my fears, sorted the problem and never gave the impression I was a nuisance.

I should mention Tom explained in great detail, in language I understood, all about diabetes and its treatment. He gave me literature to read and a video on the disease. In April 1999 Bella contracted very severe cystitis. This necessitated her being admitted to Gilabeey Hospital. She was very ill, loosing a lot of blood and her glucose levels were haywire.

During this time, Tom rang me twice a day to report on Bella’s progress. When she recovered from the cystitis, there was great difficulty in stabilising the diabetes. Tom was in contact with the vet college in Dublin and always explained to me the outcome of his discussions with Dublin.

To cut a long saga short, Bella was admitted to the vet teaching hospital in Dublin and after a two day stay came home a contented stable happy little dog.

I have been taking dogs to vets for 30 years and never had a complaint about any vet that treated my pets, but what makes Tom Conway special is that he goes the extra mile for his patients, which is very reassuring for their owners.

When I entrust the health of my best friend to Tom Conway, I know she is in a very safe pair of hands.

Highly Commended – Practice, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Practice: Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, Gilabbey Street, Cork – vets
nominated were Tom Conway, Shane Guerin and Pat O’Doherty.

WHY NOMINATED: My vet is myself and Bunty’s best friend. She is my best friend. My vet is Pat Dorothy who I can only describe as a Saint and who has kept me going emotionally and professionally in the last few years of Bunty’s life and she has had a lot of problems since she was 16 years old.

I first met Pat when Bunty got very sick in Cork 4 years ago. I knew vets and after ringing several vets, Pat was the one who met me at 10pm that night. The verdict was bad, Bunty was very sick, had cancer and had to have a hysterectomy. Pat told me because of her staggering age her chances were 10%.

He showed me where Bunty would be operated and went through everything in “layman’s” terms so I could understand. The surgery was going to cost a lot of money which I did not have at that moment, but his concern was not money but to get Bunty through surgery and yes he did.

Bunty since has only sight in one eye and has lost her hearing. Last year she got food poisoning and yet again the Gilabbey team pulled her through.

Last Christmas she developed tumours and I had to rush her to a practise nearby. She was very sick on day four, they told me she would have to be put down. Pat was on holidays at the time. I rang Gilabbey and they put me through to one of Pat’s colleagues, he told me to take the dog home, assess her for 24 hours, if there was no improvement get her to Cork.

She got better. The reason why she did not respond to treatment was she was upset at being in the hospital and she did not know anybody.

This year, Bunty’s eye started acting up and she went to a vet in Dublin for treatment who advised the eye be removed. I brought her home and noticed she had become very weak. I rang Pat in Cork, he told me to bring her down immediately. Pat was off and came in especially to see us. She had a murmer in her heart. Pat treated her twice a day but did not take her into hospital as he said she would make it if I was nursing her.

Day One, Pat did not give much hope. Day Two Pat consulted with his colleagues and they felt now it was better to put her down. Day Three, she was back on her feet.

Pat agrees that Bunty is an exceptional dog and has beaten all odds and Bunty will only die when she wants to. Pat believes in Bunty and knows she’s a friend.

He explains things so simply, money is never an issue. He is constantly doing courses, keeping up to date with technology. I believe he is the vet for Foto WildLife Park as I see pictures of him in the surgery of operations on wild animals.

He has met me with Bunty on days off because I travel from Meath to him. He sends me Bunty’s medication in the post and she goes for a monthly check-up. Bunty would be dead today if Pat was not around.

The team at Gilabbey is brilliant. One may feel stupid at times and people find it difficult to understand how one gets so attached to animals. One can ring day or night to Gilabbey and one is never made feel a burden.

In 20 years I have dealt with a lot of vets and some have no manner dealing with your feelings and how upsetting it is when you feel so helpless and your life is depending on them knowing the anwer to your pet’s complaint.

I have told people all over whose pets have been given no chance, go to Gilabbey Street, Cork. They are professional, clean and they care.

My dog is my life, I owe the last four year’s of Bunty’s life and my pleasure to Pat. I know everyday is a bonus and I know the day will come when Pat can not do anything. But I know I want Pat there and I will accept it from him if Bunty has to be put down, as if he cannot do anything, nobody can.

I hope you will consider Pat, I would give my right hand for him and so would a lot of other people. Sometimes, kindness and compassion and treating your pets like your children can mean everything. Please consider Pat, he is one in a million and you do not get many professionals as good as that. We are very lucky to have him.

Enclosed: Press cutting from the Evening Echo, when Bunty was lost last July 19 years of age, Gilabbey then opened at 10pm and were waiting to take her in and examine her to check she was ok after she was found.

Highly Commended – Practice, Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Award, 2001
Practice: Gilabbey Veterinary Practice, Gilabbey Street, Cork
– vets nominated were Tom Conway, Shane Guerin and Pat O’Doherty.

WHY NOMINATED: I am a kennel supervisor for Irish Guide Dogs, for the Blind, and I have recently taken my cat to Gilabbey due to a urinary tract problem, they are not only extremely helpful but do explain procedures thoroughly and exlain what the medication will do etc.

The Gilabbey Vet. Hospital are also vets to the Irish Guide Dogs, we as a charity find them extremely efficient with staff and dogs in training, but they have a lovely way with the visually impaired people who receive our dogs, they are always only a phone call away whether it be 6am or after midnight (which we have found out onnumnerous occassions).

The practice consists of four partners and every one will offer the same brilliant service, you can appreciate that with 40 dogs in our kennels we do rely on vets being reliable, and understanding and I really can’t praise this practice enough, I not only speak for myself on this matter but the other 30 staff that work within Irish Guide Dogs. This is a great opportunity for me to nominate what I believe is a great Veterinary Practice. I will also say that there waiting room is full up with THANK YOU cards from very happy satisfied people.

Last updated: Sunday 9th December, 2001