Waggy tails and smiling faces at Hawthorn Vets

Hawthorn celebrated their new surgery in style with Vet Fest, an animal-themed community fun day on Sunday 17 November 2019. Local people were queueing out of the door waiting to take their place on a guided tour of the modern surgery which boasts the very latest specialist equipment and facilities.

Practice owners Jonathan and Annelise Underwood were thrilled with the success of the community day, after months of work renovating the former Barclays Bank building it was a race to get the project finished in time for the grand opening. They were honoured to have local best-selling crime author Peter James officially cutting the ribbon on Monday 18th. Peter is a great supporter of Henfield and the Greyhound Trust is one of his favourite local charities.

Entertaining visitors, children and their furry friends was top of the agenda, with stunning balloon modelling from Nick Cook who was never fazed whatever the imaginative request – even when he had to create a sloth and a lemur. The Teddy Bear Hospital was busy all day, who knew there were so many poorly cuddlies in Henfield! Luckily, two selfless veterinary nurses spent hours applying the crucial coloured bandages to get them all back on the road to recovery.

Outside, the star of the show had to be Nellie the skateboarding dog from Muttley Matters, who, incentivised by some  delicious sausage treats, basked in the adoration of the crowds as she showed everyone just how clever she was. There were canine visitors from House Hound Hydro, Alice’s Dog Grooming, Problem Pet Solutions and M&J Dog Products. Visiting pooches enjoyed their very own doggy ice-cream while the Rushfields pie and hot soup van kept their two-legged humans well fed.

The tours proved to be a popular opportunity to meet the vets and go ‘behind the scenes’ – it turns out that the consulting rooms and reception area are only a small part of the surgery! Recovery rooms, x-ray rooms, surgical rooms (with laparoscopy and ultrasound equipment), isolation areas and a purpose-built outdoor exercise area make Hawthorn one of the most advanced surgeries in Sussex. They’ve even got individually heated kennels in both the dog and cat wards, with soothing music played to the animals to help calm them and aid recovery. It’s reassuring to see the care and attention our pets receive when they are unwell.

The Greyhound Trust and Paws and Claws Animal Rescue were joint beneficiaries of the raffle which raised an incredible £1,460, it was lovely to see the majestic greyhounds getting lots of attention from visitors. Jonathan and Annelise would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who bought tickets and to all the local businesses who contributed with raffle prizes.

Congratulations to the team at Hawthorn for a brilliant opening event, especially to Head Veterinary Nurse Dani Kaelin whose hard work ensured a really successful day. Welcome to Henfield High Street, Hawthorn! 

Emma Osman