Here at Wear Referrals, we have launched a memorial tree-planting scheme to acknowledge the key part pets play in providing mental wellbeing support to families.
We have launched the initiative by planting a dawn redwood tree outside our state-of-the-art hospital, in memory of pets who have passed away and in acknowledgement of the importance of pets in our lives.
This comes at a time when mental health issues and social isolation are particular problems as the country continues to adhere to lockdown and social distancing measures in its battle against Covid-19.
Ben Harris, our clinical director at Wear Referrals, spearheaded the tree planting initiative. He said: “As well as our own personal experience of our bond with pets, every day we see how pets are central to people’s lives.
“We want to leave a long-lasting tribute to all of those pets who are lost by loving families. For every pet who passes away or is put to sleep at our hospital, we will have a tree planted in a woodland regeneration scheme in the north east – by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
“Pet owners will be able to visit the developing woodland in future and will receive a certificate to record the tree-planting.
“We recognise the importance of One Health – a global concept of the links between the health of humans, animals and the environment. This tree-planting initiative will have an important positive environmental impact, as well as celebrating the human-animal bond.
“Of course, our role as vets is to promote and improve animal health, but through that I feel that the crux of my vocation is to preserve and restore the all-important bond between owners and their pets.”
The emblematic tree planted has some significance for longevity and hope – the dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) can be traced back for more than 65 million years and was thought to be extinct, only known as a fossil specimen to be extinct until its rediscovery in 1939.
Here at Wear Referrals, we have multiple environmental and community initiatives, such as being a bee-friendly hospital, award-winning environmentally-responsible building with a green-roof, solar panels and renewable energy heating source, as well as a scheme for donating old computers to charity.
Darren Stubbs, our hospital director said: “Wear Referrals provides specialist veterinary referral services in neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedic and soft-tissue surgery, anaesthesia, internal medicine, and cardiology, as well as providing out-of-hours emergency care for a number of surrounding veterinary practices.
“We’re proud to have the highest number of veterinary specialists in the north-east. With more than 135 employees, we at Wear Referrals take mental well-being and our environmental impact seriously.”