Scilly’s Pet Equipment Loan Service Proving Popular With Visitors

Pam Manning

Pam Manning

An increase in visitors who bring pets to Scilly means that 2014 has been Creature Comforts’ busiest year so far.

Pam Manning operates the pet equipment loan service voluntarily to raise cash for the Veterinary Support Group. The islands’ small population means that the veterinary practice can’t afford to upgrade equipment, so the group funds new items and repairs.

Pam has been amazed by the increase in demand, which she puts down to the islands’ accommodation providers being more welcoming of dogs. They are asking Pam to help provide canine accessories

Pam says it makes pet-owners’ holidays go more smoothly if they can borrow the type of equipment that they have at home, like cages, crates and towels. She asks people for a donation rather than following a rental price list.

At the start of the mainland school holidays, every piece of her equipment was rented out. That’s not happened before.

She’s fulfilled 120 calls for equipment, from bedding to a muzzle and she’s even been able to help with more unusual requests.

One family had an older dog who couldn’t walk very far. They wanted to borrow a pram and Pam said she did manage to find one, which meant they all had a lovely holiday.

And it’s not always the big and bulky items – the ones that are difficult to carry over – that are in demand. Soft beds for smaller dogs like terriers are very popular.

Pam says she’s always on the lookout for bedding and unwanted pet accessories such as fleece throws, which guests can hire to protect furniture.

The Vet Support Group has just paid off their X-ray machine and are about to fit a new surface in the operating theatre, which will be easier to wipe down.

Pam says money raised over the next few months will be used to build up the group’s reserves.