I've just returned from a trip back to South Africa to visit my parents and my wife's family. Each time I'm there the walls seem a little higher, and the electic wires running around the tops more numerous. This time for the first time there were warning signs on many of the popular paths on Table Mountain warning about the risk of being mugged, and advising not to walk or cycle alone there.
One of our main reasons for leaving South Africa was its high crime rate. My veterinary clinic was especially vulnerable since it stood empty at night. We were always playing catch up with burglars, first a security fence, then a guard dog and finally an alarm system with armed response and panic button. In spite of all this we had periodic break ins, and besides recovering one stolen fax machine where the new “owners” hadn’t remembered to delete our details from the faxes they sent, the police had never been able to catch any thieves much to our frustration.
One day during the Christmas school holidays I took my son, Daniel to work with me. He was about 6 years old at the time and had been asking for several days to go with me. We had a security gate on the front door which we locked when there was no one at reception, and there was a doorbell clients could ring. However we never bothered to lock the back door when we were in the building. I was busy with a cat under sedation in the operating theatre, when I heard a scream from Lister, my kennel hand. I could tell by her tone something was seriously wrong so I ran out just in time to see a man disappear out the back door carrying our cash box. I shouted to Lister to push the panic button which called the armed response, and set off in pursuit.
As the thief ran, he was deliberately dropping coins, however I ignored them and followed him out into the road where he dodged between cars, and crossed over to the other side. Eventually I managed to catch up with him and tackle him to the ground. I sat on his chest to pin him down, then wondered what to do next. The road was busy and my hopes rose when a police car approached, they slowed down, only to move off again. Eventually a burly passer by stopped and helped me to frog march the thief back to the surgery. By then the security guards were there and they handcuffed him. We phoned the police, and waited. Daniel’s eyes were out on stalks, he’d never realised dad’s work was this exciting! Our clients were also treated to the sight of a figure sitting handcuffed on the floor of the waiting room. I asked Linda, my receptionist to cash up once we’d relieved him of his ill gotten gains, so we could see if there was any money missing. He tried to tell us that some of the money was his (or more likely stolen prior to ours!) and we were actually around sixty rand over. “Tough luck” we said, “that’s ours now!”
After an hour or so the police still hadn’t arrived and the thief was complaining that the handcuffs were too tight. I had a look and sure enough his hands were starting to turn blue! I asked the security guards to loosen them, but was informed that only the police had keys to unlock them. So we loaded him into the security van and delivered him to the police station. It was extremely satisfying to be able to catch one criminal red-handed, as well as a great opportunity to show Daniel that crime doesn’t pay! Incidentally we appreciate the comparative lack of crime here, for me it’s like winding the clock back 30 years on crime.
Watch whom you trust with your weapons!
We've created an online portal to book appointments and order repeat prescriptions or pet food and other animal health products. You can also view invoices and statements as well as update your and your animal's details.
Now you can like us on facebook to receive regular updates (including the monthly news article) and interact with us online
We have beautiful cat greeting cards available to help fund our kitten rehoming and stray cat desexing work. Thanks to Cat Rescue Christchurch who also generously pay for many of our surgeries on strays! You can hire stock signs for your car or to put on the road, as well as orange flashing beacons and hi-viz vests from us to comply with the new regulations when moving stock. We've recently put shingle down in the parking area and made it drive through so please park inside and tell us what you think! Also have you noticed our freshly painted roof?
We have moved to 3328 Christchurch-Akaroa Rd near the Birdlings Flat turnoff, watch out for our big sign, you can't miss it. We have a much bigger range of foods and animal health products, including the BlackHawk working dog food at great prices. Our cattery is also open and looking great.
We have an inhouse blood analyzer at the clinic, so we can run many tests while you wait. This allows us to offer pre-anaesthetic testing as well as health screening for older animals, and provide an emergency service afterhours and weekends when the Christchurch laboratory is closed. We can also determine mineral levels in down cows. We also now have a portable ultrasound scanner, good news for pregnancy testing.
We once again have the cheap mismating injection available for bitches. This has been off the market for a few years now, but Paul has been able to have some compounded. We have some ideas to help you save on animal health expenses- ask us about the bulk deals for Eukanuba dog food, and get to feed a premium, performance enhancing brand. Also the RFID electronic ear tags are now compulsory for cattle and deer. Ask us about ordering NAIT tags for your stock, or about the new tagging requirements. There is a lot more flexibility in what visible tags are acceptable- they don't all have to be yellow! We are able to procure eartags at below recommended retail prices.
We also have a large range of Acana/Orijen, Hills Science Diet and BlackHawk dog and cat food in stock. Paul can deliver to Akaroa on Mondays and Thursdays and to Diamond Harbour on Tuesdays.
Animal health information - Archives
Please contact us if you’d like copies of any of these. Many are now available to view as posts on Paul's Linkedin page. Also let us know if you’d like to see any other topics featured here.
A different perspective, Animal welfare, Accidental poisonings, Arthritis, Allergies, Above & beyond, After Hours, Akaroa or bust
Becoming a vet, Birthing & midwifery, Be wormwise this Autumn
Calici vaccination update- rabbits
Dental care, De sexing, Dogs, sheep measles & farm etiquette
External parasites, Euthanasia, EID's, Equine deworming recommendations & autumn animal health advice
First aid in animals. FIV and Feline Leukaemia, Five Freedoms
Happy to be stuck with you, Human-animal bond, Heat Stroke
Internal parasites, Is it too late to spay or neuter my pet? Internet & Google- the good the bad and the ugly, It shouldn't happen to a vet
Mafikeng rhino, Memories of Mafikeng, Mr Talkative, Mycoplasma bovis , Microchipping,
Nutrition, Nutrition in pet rabbits, New Year Animal Health Checklist
Obesity in pets, Onwards & upwards
Poisons in the pantry, primary health care, Plant poisonings, Pigs rule, Pig's Ear, Pathology & blood testing, Pet statistics in NZ
Rabbit calicivirus, Ramped up rhino, Resistance-squandering a miracle, Road block
Tapeworm, TB in NZ, The nasties, The big move, The Challenge of Diamond Harbour, The thief, The Driving Lesson, Technology at work
Urinary problems in cats
Vets’ cars, vaccination principles- ruminants, Vaccination of dogs & cats, Vet lifestyler
War wounds, Why vaccinate?, World veterinary year, World vaccination guidelines, Wild & stray cats