Every day in our 48 Pet Hospitals, all across the UK, PDSA vets and vet nurses protect the special bond between owners and their four-legged friends by providing veterinary care to sick and injured pets whose owners otherwise couldn’t afford to pay the full cost of treatment.
We believe that everyone, no matter what their circumstances, has the right to experience the unique bond – the love and companionship – that comes from owning a pet.
For so many people and pets, PDSA is a lifeline that prevents the unnecessary pain and suffering that may come from their owners being unable to afford veterinary treatment. Together, you can help us create a fairer society where social inequality is no barrier to the love and companionship of owning a pet.
We’re also a leading authority on pet health, and we raise the status of animals by celebrating their contributions to our lives. Whether it’s leading the debate on pet obesity, conducting Britain’s biggest annual pet wellbeing survey, raising the status of animals or simply celebrating their contribution to our lives.
This is all down to our fantastic supporters. PDSA receives no government funding and relies entirely on public support to continue our work. Your support means we can continue to provide compassionate veterinary care for sick and injured pets of people who otherwise couldn’t afford to pay the full cost of treatment.
PDSA has been a lifeline for sick and injured pets since 1917.
Our veterinary expertise and comprehensive education programme mean that we touch the lives of more pets and owners than any other animal welfare organisation. And we owe it all to one truly inspirational woman: PDSA’s founder, Maria Dickin.
Maria Dickin was born in London in 1870. The daughter of a Free Church Minister, she was an independent-minded young woman, never afraid to voice her beliefs.
When she went to visit the poor in the East End of London, she was horrified by the terrible poverty she witnessed – especially the sight of their sick and injured pets who were in desperate need of veterinary care. Dogs and cats had no choice but to scavenge from the gutters, many in pain and suffering – raw with mange and often dragging their broken limbs. All because their owners simply couldn’t afford to pay for treatment.
So on Saturday 17 November 1917, during the First World War, Maria opened The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals of the Poor, providing a free service for pets in need, in a Whitechapel basement.
There was so much demand that she soon needed larger premises and established a fleet of mobile dispensaries to travel around the country.
Maria devoted her life to improving the welfare of the pets she loved. Her determination, enthusiasm and pioneering spirit define PDSA to this day.
We’re proud to continue her work, ensuring that today, and in the years to come, people who, through no fault of their own, can’t afford to pay for veterinary care for their beloved pets still have somewhere to go for help and free treatment.
PDSA's vision is a society in which no pet is denied veterinary care, because their owner can't afford it. We work hard every day to keep pets healthy and protect the special bond between pets and their owners. Our mission is in two parts, to reflect the diversity of our work:
- Provide compassionate veterinary care for the sick and injured pets of people who otherwise couldn't afford to pay.
- Provide pet welfare education and practical preventive support to combat unnecessary illness, pain and suffering of pets in low-income households.
The bond that keeps us together. Our values are the qualities that bind us and make us who we are. They're our DNA; always there guiding our actions, behaviours and our decision-making process. Our values are:
- Head and Heart – Expertise with understanding. At PDSA, we combine expertise with understanding to help deliver a happier and healthier future for pets and their owners.
- Better together - Empowering through unity. We can achieve more if we work in partnership with everyone who touches the life of a pet. Working together, PDSA, owners, supporters and the public can all have a positive impact on pets’ health and happiness.
- Passion with Purpose – Driven in our dedication. We can all make a difference in creating a world where no pet suffers. We must improve and deliver more today than yesterday, making every pound deliver even more benefit. Our passion and dedication drive us to continually achieve more.
Our Veterinary Services
Our vets and nurses are ready to deal with everything from lifesaving surgery to everyday preventative care. It all happens across our network of 48 Pet Hospitals around the UK. In 2022:
- We employed 480 veterinary surgeons, 440 veterinary nurses and over 700 veterinary support staff.
- We treated 390,000 pets.
- We provided 2 million veterinary treatments at PDSA Pet Hospitals.
- We supported 330,000 eligible pet owners throughout the UK.
Eligible pet owners
We help the pets of owners in need.
To be eligible for our free veterinary service, owners must be in the catchment area of one of our Pet Hospitals and receive one of the following:
- Housing Benefit
- Council Tax Support
- Universal Credit with a Housing Element
To be eligible for our reduced cost veterinary service, owners must live within the catchment area of a PDSA Pet Hospital and be:
- In receipt of means-tested benefits (including Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income support, DLA, ADP, JSA, ESA and PIP)
- A pensioner living in houses Council Tax bands A-D
We’d love to help everyone, but as a charity our funds are limited, so you do have to be eligible for your pet to receive PDSA treatment. Our website contains lots of information for keeping your pet healthy and happy.
Our vet teams
All of our PDSA Pet Hospitals provide professional care from highly qualified vets and nurses, plus dedicated support staff, like the receptionists you see when you arrive.
Help for dogs, cats, budgies and ‘small furries’
We can help all the most popular types of pet – dogs, cats, budgies, rabbits and other ‘small furries’ like guinea pigs, hamsters and even chinchillas. Sorry, but we don’t cover insects, reptiles or farm animals, so you’ll need to take them to a specialist vet instead.