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  • Sonderburg Rd
    Finsbury Park

    London N7
    Lower Holloway
  • Phone number 020 7272 6214
  • Business website rspca.org.uk

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  • 4.0 star rating
    4/11/2007
    First to Review

    Rating this place is a difficult task. I've given it a rating as a vets, but that is unfair to its staff who do an amazing job.

    On the negative side it's not somewhere you really want to be. For a start there's no appointments, so you have to queue, usually for at least a couple of hours. Once you do get called you get to see whatever vet is available, and there's a lot of different vets. There's no chance to build up a relationship with one. It's a bit of a conveyor belt. An example: one vet lets you hold your cat for blood tests, others will insist on getting a nurse in or even sending them into the back. Annoying as I'm well able to hold them and it's better for them if I do. Also, it's no frills treatment. Of course, it is a clinic for people on a low income, so avoiding unnecessary expense is needed. But as someone who's read up on their cat's conditions, I know I'm not getting some of the tests etc that might be available if I was able to afford a private vet. And of course, though most folks and animals there are nice, you do get to share a waiting room for hours with some you'd rather not. Days when badly trained dogs all start barking at each other are not pleasant.

    I have to give five stars to the staff though. Some of them (naming no names) have been know to be a bit jobsworth, but with some of the folks that come in taking the proverbial (i.e. want free treatment for the dog because they want to buy the newest mobile or something) I can't really blame them. My cats have always been calm there, and while I give myself some credit for that, I think it also shows that the vets have a good attitude. I also feel happy if my cats have to go in for an operation: unlike some small vets they have staff on duty 24 hours. By the way it's not free, you pay a £10 consultation fee plus medical costs. As an example a few years ago dentals for my cats cost £150 each at a private vets, and a couple of years later £40 at the Harmsworth.

    And yes, it is the place that featured in 'Animal Hospital' with Rolf Harris. It is kind of cool to be able to say your cat has been seen by a celebrity vet, but it's not worth it. If you have the money, you should go to a private vet, to avoid your animal waiting around for hours if nothing else. Most of the ones off the telly seem to have moved on now anyway

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