Kindhearted Northern Echo readers step in to help pensioner hit with a huge vets bill (From The Northern Echo)
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Animal charity and Echo reader offer to pay £750 vet bill after cat's tail got stuck in stairlift
KIND-HEARTED Northern Echo readers have stepped in to pay the £750 vet bill charged to pensioner Maisie Wilkinson whose cat’s tail got stuck in a stairlift.
Mrs Wilkinson’s ordeal featured on the front of The Northern Echo yesterday (Monday, September 2) and caught the attention of Pauline Wilson of the National Animal Sanctuaries Support League (NASSL) who contacted the paper to say the charity would foot the bill.
Another reader, Tony McMahon – the father of the former Middlesbrough player of the same name – also offered to help and arrangements are now being made between the two to pay Mrs Wilkinson’s £753.56 bill in full.
The delighted 81-year-old, of Darlington, said: “It is so nice of them; I would like to say a big thank you.
“It’s so unexpected and lovely that people care.”
Mrs Wilkinson was hit with the bill after an emergency vet from the Vets Now service was called to collect her cat Tilly who had caught its tail in a stairlift.
Tilly stayed in the surgery overnight before being transferred to the PDSA in Middlesbrough who amputated her tail.
Mrs Wilkinson’s son, Tony, said the offers to pay the bill had left him “gobsmacked”.
“I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
“I’ve been trying to get overtime at work to help my mum because she’s been so worried about paying it, so this is really good news and I’m so grateful.”
He added: “One thing’s for sure the cat won’t trap its tail in the stairlift again!”
Pauline Wilson of the (NASSL), which is based in Newton Aycliffe and has a sanctuary in Darlington, said helping animals and those who care for them is the charity’s objective.
She said: “This is an elderly lady who obviously loves her cat very much and they have both been through a very traumatic experience.
“Then to be hit with a hefty bill, with her poor health and at her time of life, is a sad thing.”
Mrs Wilson added: “In some respects Mr McMahon’s gesture far outweighs ours because we are an animal welfare charity but he is just an ordinary member of the public who wants to help.
“That sort of thing warms the cockles of your heart, I think it is lovely.”
Mrs Wilkinson told The Northern Echo that Tilly is recovering well from her ordeal and is adjusting to life without a tail.
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