Kind hearted gran turns hobby into lifeline for poorly pets

A Runcorn gran and her knitting needles have come to the aid of poorly pets by making dozens of woolly socks to keep them warm.

When veterinary nurse Maria Clark wanted to keep cats and dogs warm while undergoing operations at Laurels Veterinary Surgery in Runcorn, she knew exactly who to call upon for help – her mum Rosemary.

Pets can’t regulate their temperature while under anaesthetic, so the practice uses heat pads and blankets. However, as the heat is lost through their paws, Maria’s mum volunteered to knit socks for patients.

Rosemary, 77 has been a keen knitter all her life and has made jumpers, baby shawls, teapot covers and egg cosies over the years, but knitting boots for four-legged patients is her most unusual project.

Thanks to leftover oddments of wool from over the years, she has knitted socks in all sizes and in an array colour for the surgery, where her daughter is head veterinary nurse.

Rosemary said: “I really enjoy making them and it is a perfect hobby for these cold, dark winter nights when I can’t get into my garden and the TV is rubbish. I’ve loved knitting since I was a girl and have lots of odd balls of wool.

I can make socks to fit any pet, whether it’s a small cat, a Chihuahua or a Labrador with big paws, and they’re in all sorts of colours, but the pets won’t mind that. It’s for a great cause for pets having an operation and I’m glad they are being put to good use.”

Laurels Veterinary Surgery is part of Willows Veterinary Group, where Rosemary’s granddaughter Gabriella – Maria’s daughter – is a night auxiliary nurse at their main hospital in Hartford, Cheshire.

Maria, has worked at Laurels Veterinary Surgery at Charter House in Victoria Road, Runcorn, for 13 years, said: “We use the socks on pets because they get so cold and can’t regulate their body temperature under aesthetic. We have heat pads and blankets but, because they lose the heat from their feet, the socks are perfect warmers.

“The socks are washes between patients so they can be used over and over again. Cats and dogs have been wearing them during operations and we’re noticing a difference, so they help tremendously.”