A Lincolnshire-based firm transports puppies, kittens, birds of prey and other animals across England, Scotland and Wales and The Lincolnite spoke to the owner about his rather unique job.

Pet To Vet was established back in 2010 after business owner Ian Mackenzie, 54, had spent 30 years in the food industry.

Ian, who has lived in Lincolnshire for the last 15 years, was stuck in Denmark with a customer doing a factory audit when one of his own pets back home became ill.

He had difficulty sorting a vet for his cat and on his flight home was thinking about how others must have the same problem, prompting him to launch his own business.

Pet To Vet is a DEFRA-approved pet transporter based in Cranwell and Holbeach, covering anywhere from Cornwall up to Scotland.

It can see as many as over 30 animals a week. Only one person’s pet is on board at any one time, with no multi drops or mixed loads.

The main three animal groups the firm deals with are puppies, kittens and birds of prey, as it works with a range of rescue organisations, as well as the charity StreetVet.

The company’s work has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as normally Pet To Vet does a lot of vet referrals and transits, including if an animal from an owner or kennels/cattery needs transported for critical care or specialist surgery.

Although many vets are shut for routine treatments and a lot of the firm’s rescue work has had to temporarily stop, there has been no rest for Ian and his busy team of six other staff, who are all trained in animal first aid.

Just some of the adorable animals Pet To Vet have helped.

If somebody is housebound and their pet is seriously ill or has died, or if the owner dies and the animal needs to be taken into specialised care, Pet To Vet is on hand to assist.

This year, for example, they took some parrots to Lincolnshire Wildlife Park after the owner had sadly passed away.

The Lincolnshire business also takes pets to airports and ports, or pick them up if they have been quarantined, as well as working with police, social services, the courts and the RSPCA. This could include if an animal needs to be removed from an abusive owner.

Another area of the work that has increased massively during lockdown is transporting pets between a breeder and the new owners.

However, Ian has urged people to think carefully before taking on new pets during lockdown as situations will change when people go back to work.

The family-owned business has a proud history of animal transportation that goes back over 100 years.

Ian’s great great uncle Mark was a licensed carter, who transported poultry and small animals by horse and cart around Devon and Cornwall in the early 1800s.

This passion has passed on through generations of the family, who have all been involved in transport directly or indirectly ever since.

Ian, who owns fish and a little Russian cat called Bluebell, told The Lincolnite: “I love my job. It is very unique. In a lot of cases they can’t get their own pets to the vet so we make a difference and it is hugely rewarding.

“We put a lot of passion and care into it and treat every pet like our own, whether it is a quick half an hour trip to the vet or six hours up to Scotland.”

Pet To Vet’s vehicles are purpose built and designed with the animal’s safety and comfort in mind.

Pet To Vet shares work with Hertfordshire-based Pawsome Transport UK. In 2018, Pet To Vet formed a consortium under the Pawsome Transport UK brand to help give clients the best deal possible across England, Scotland and Wales.

Although they often deal with puppies, kittens and birds, the service is available for a wide range of other animals, with gerbils, snakes, chinchillas and even a peacock using the pet taxis. They team were even once called out to help relocate Bertie the escaped white peacock who became a bit of a media star in Sussex.

Any domestic pet that will fit in the vehicle is eligible for the service – see more information here or call Pet To Vet on 07472816444. Prices vary depending on what the job is, but can range from a £30 trip to the vet and back in Lincoln, to up to £600 in Scotland.

A statue of Lord Hugh Trenchard has been unveiled at RAF College Cranwell to mark the 100th anniversary of the college.

Builders from Lindum installed the seven foot tall bronze statue of the Marshal of the Royal Air Force – the RAF College’s principal founder – who established it in 1920 as part of his plans to expand the Air Force after the First World War.

The statue was erected on the west side of the officer’s mess after 18 months of fundraising by Sir Christopher Coville, Chairman of the Cranwellian Association Executive Committee.

The statue was created by established artist and sculptor Vivien Mallock and was commissioned by the Cranwellian Association.

The Trenchard Statue. | Photo: MOD Crown Copyright

Sir Michael Graydon, President of the Cranwellian Association, said: “The story is relatively simple, we canvassed ideas after early discussion with the college about what we might do to commemorate the 100th anniversary; initially, proposals were for something inside the college, for example a Michaelangelo-type painting on the dome in the rotunda.

“There were many other, including flying scholarships for air cadets, but in the end the majority favoured a statue of our founder – and after confirming a consensus of the membership at our AGM, we all went for it”.

Deputy Commandant and Station Commander RAF College Cranwell, Group Captain Gordon Bettington, said: “We are absolutely delighted and grateful to see 18 months of work by the Cranwellian Association come to fruition with the installation of this incredible work of art.

“It is a permanent reminder of the first 100 years and encapsulates how important and significant Lord Hugh Trenchard, MRAF was and is to RAF College Cranwell. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of all those who enter the RAF Officer Training Academy”.

Viscount Trenchard, Grandson of Lord Hugh Trenchard. | Photo: MOD Crown Copyright

RAF College Cranwell was the world’s first Air Academy and continues to select and train the next generation of officers and aircrew. It is also home to No 3 Flying Training School.

Cranwell Primary School will close a class after a pupil tested positive for COVID-19.

The school will remain open for all classes that weren’t in the learning bubble of the confirmed case.

Pupils and staff in the class have been sent home to self-isolate and will return on Thursday, September 24.

The identity of the pupil was withheld by the school, with no indication of what year group the case came from.

In a letter sent to parents, school headteacher Chris Wilson said: “I understand that it will feel worrying to hear that there is a positive case within our school.

“I wanted to write to you to ensure that you all know that all necessary steps have been taken and school is open for all unaffected classes as normal.”

The letter also told parents that there is no need to order a test based solely on this isolation.

“The self-isolation period will allow for any symptoms to become evident.

“On the basis of symptoms presenting themselves, then a test should be sought and you should inform us of the outcome.

“If no symptoms present during this period of self-isolation, then there has not been a transmission of the virus to your child and they can come back to school as usual on Thursday, September 24.”

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