Published: 00:00, 16 April 2002
| Updated: 16:58, 16 April 2002
TELEVISION presenter Cheryl Baker lent a celebrity touch to the opening of a new £700,000 pets hospital. The former singer, who topped the charts in the Eighties with the group Bucks Fizz, opened the new PDSA PetAid hospital at Campus Way in Gillingham Business Park.
It will replace the charity's Union Street centre in Chatham which, because of its much smaller size, struggled to treat around 85 sick and injured animals a day.
Cheryl said: "There should be more centres like this around to help with demand for the treatment of pets. The PDSA is invaluable for people who cannot afford full vets' bills, because the service is free with voluntary donations.
Ms Baker, PDSA children's club president, cut the ceremonial ribbons and signed autographs for the centre's first pet-owners.
The day was also commemorated by a paw-printing on cement by two of the centre's first pets, white border collie Bailey and cocker spaniel Dillon.
The hospital, which cost around £700,000 to build and equip, has five consulting rooms, two operating theatres, an x-ray room and separate recovery kennels for cats and dogs.
It is also fully equipped with the latest technology and also has a spacious waiting area, car parking and disabled facilities.
Senior veterinary surgeon Paul Walding stressed: We look forward to helping more people and their pets with splendid modern facilities." To place a pet under PDSA care, an owner needs to live in a designated post code area and receive either housing benefit or council tax benefit.