A NEWPORT vets’ owner has urged people to be more patient and understanding as a nationwide shortage of vets combined with pandemic pet buying sees unprecedented demand for their services.

Paul McCarthy, vet and owner of Vets4Pets Newport, has spoken out following a number of abusive interactions with some clients and potential clients – and explained how there is a current shortage of people working as vets across the UK.

Mr McCarthy said: “We ask for people to bring their pets to us because they are sick, but we also ask that they are able to respect our situation as well.

“We currently have two less vets than we normally have and there is a nationwide shortage, which, combined with the increased purchasing of pets during lockdown, is putting more pressure on our industry.

“They [pet owners] want the best care for their pets of course but some are not being understanding of the amount of work we have and what our workload is like.

“My staff are given verbal abuse on a daily basis. My staff, like many vets all over the country, are burnt out and run down.

“We are trying our best to give the best care to pets, but we have had to introduce practice policies against our wishes because of the shortage.”

Vets4Pets have been much busier during the pandemic – when they would see clients from other practices which were either not seeing patients or were only doing emergencies – and this has continued.

It is not just Vets4Pets Newport that are having this issue.


Veterinary Voices UK have provided information that 3.2 million households across the UK have brought a pet into their family since the start of the pandemic and that 94 per cent of practices across the UK are short staffed.

Veterinary Voices also said that a large number of the UK’s vets have come from the EU, and this has significantly dropped since Brexit – with 80 per cent less EU nationals registering as vets in the UK compared to before Brexit - and that this, combined with the increase in pets, staff sickness or isolation due to Covid and the backlog of routine appointments that were cancelled due to the pandemic has led to the increased pressure on the industry as a whole.

Veterinary Voices also urged pet owners to be kind and understanding when speaking to receptionists and staff at their local vets and to be mindful of the fact that there may be delays.

“I hope that more vets will come forward,” said Mr McCarthy. “But if the situation of abuse that vets across the UK are receiving – much like GPs and pharmacists – I can’t see many wanting to come forward and join the profession.”