Hornsby Shire Needs a 24 Hour Emergency, Referral and Specialist Vet

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  • Attn: Dr. Paula Parker, President of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), National Veterinary Care (NVC) Australia, VetPartners Australia, Matt Kean MP, The Residents of Hornsby Shire and surrounds.....and Animal lovers Australia-wide! 
  • Please NOTE: To clarify, as there have been inquiries from some - I am not requesting government funding. Thank you :)

Dear Addressees, Residents and Friends of the Hornsby Shire of Sydney,

This petition is to gain support and in expressing our need in the Hornsby Shire for a 24/7 veterinary emergency and critical care, specialist and referral service to complement our local vets - ie. Vet hospital functioning after-hours with a team of specialist veterinarians and access to quality facilities and services without prolonged waiting times for suitable treatments (e.g. tests, on-site ultrasound facilities, etc.), while accepting a variety of pets and wildlife through their doors. Like us, animals don’t wait to get sick during business hours!
We also would like an animal ambulance to be connected to this to assist clients who cannot access this and other vets in the local area.

According to the Hornsby Shire Council website, there are more than 40,000 pets and companion animals in the Hornsby Shire. We definitely have the need for this.

 Please help me take these ideas to the Veterinary Association (AVA), National Veterinary Care (NVC), VetPartners and any other suitable people/organisations for review, to get the word out there and help us to find the right people for the job!


Our area is already home to some fantastic vets in long-established clinics. Having lived in the area for almost 20 years, we have been loyal clients to our local vet clinic and its vets and will continue to be for all the standard procedures and check-ups for all future pets. However, despite this, unfortunately there has always been a noticeable gap in around-the-clock availability - no local clinics are currently providing 24 hour veterinary assistance and specialised services to pets owners in the Hornsby Shire locale. Ask most pet owners and they will most likely agree this is a necessary service in the community.

This need has been obvious to me for quite some time. As long-time pet owners who naturally want the best quality of life for the animals in our care, there has always been a point in the lives of each of our pets in which they have needed special treatments and even urgent or critical veterinary care. In these situations, we take them to the specialists, or in a real emergency, quite simply to whoever is open to see them.

I have most recently been reminded of how much we need this additional veterinary presence in our area after starting a palliative care plan for my sweet 20 year-old cat, Cleo.
In her twilight years she has developed a multitude of chronic ailments. Last week, quite surprisingly to me I will admit, she survived a general anaesthetic to have a feeding tube put in. I  thought we would have to say goodbye. It really is quite amazing - she is hanging in there, and in fact, at the moment is seemingly doing better in some ways than she was pre-op. (Yes, some may say going to this trouble to feed and medicate a cat through a feeding tube is unnecessary, but she is special to us and this is what we do for an old friend to keep her comfortable as long as she has quality of life and we are able to give this to her.)

It is thanks to the partnership between our local vets and the specialist vets she has recieved care from that she has done so well. I want to draw attention to the need and also the benefits which have come from access to specialist and 24 hour vet help - just so you know that there is a genuine client base. I am just one of many clients these specialised vet hospitals established in various places expect to see on a daily basis from all areas of Sydney.

The availability of after-hours vet care and ongoing consultations from a feline specialist vet have allowed Cleo to have the best possible shot at treatment and comfort.

BUT this hasn’t come easily! (Mostly due to location) - Pets truly don’t just get sick in business hours! In my experience, the emergencies have a way happening after-hours or on weekends, or both! An added stressor if you, like myself, don’t currently drive and a lift isn’t easy to come by at midnight! The cost of long taxi fares or hired transport can significantly add to an already expensive and stressful experience. Many may not even be able to consider this option. The extended travel time also risks the outcome of your pet’s health – sometimes in what is quite literally a life or death situation. I can’t tell you how many times we have had to travel 30-40 mins (or more depending on the location and time of day!) to get to this kind of help, for Cleo as well as other pets, and feeling so frustrated each time - venting my anxiety and frustration - "If only there was a vet open to help us in our area at this time of night!".

The feeling of isolation, knowing there is no-one local with their doors open to see you with a very unwell animal at night can be quite concerning, even before you actually need to go.

Pets are increasingly being considered beloved members of the family, worthy of the best possible care. I am certain that if I am sensing the need for a 24 hour veterinary emergency and critical care/ specialist service in the Hornsby area, there would be others who would be too.

Please show your support if you are one of them!

I personally think the Hornsby Shire would benefit greatly from this and that Hornsby itself, would be an ideal location for a 24 hour emergency vet hospital. It could be accessed by residents of Upper, Mid and even lower North Shore, as well as surrounding areas such as Pennant Hills and Thornleigh to the south of Hornsby and Galston, even possibly Dural and others to the west. Even those on the Lower Central Coast could benefit.


I also think an after-hours/24 hr animal ambulance or pet transport should be an available service offered in our area, whether it be connected to the proposed vet hospital or as a seperate service. I believe there would be many others who are similarly at a disadvantage and worry they cannot get their pet vet treatment in a hurry simply because they lack the transportation at the time. It really does surprise me that this service is not generally offered because I think it would be a success among clients.


On a seperate note, I would also like to see options for payment plans, perhaps even pension discounts where possible, so that treatment is available for clients on all kinds of budgets.

Finally, I just want to emphasise that I think an additional veterinary hospital in our area would be an ideal complememtary referral service to our pre-exisiting veterinary presence in the Hornsby area. There is enough love to go around - hopefully we find that 'special like-minded someone' to invest in our community. We request this input with sincerity and appreciation to those who can willingly provide it.

Let’s work together to increase the availability and quality care for our animal friends, their owners and our beautiful local wildlife.

A sincere “thank you” for your time.

Kindest Regards,

Amanda J Greenwood
Hornsby Shire Resident