Lort Smith releases its 2020 Impact Report and reflects on a tough year for all

Today the iconic Melbourne institution, Lort Smith reflected on a year that was tough for many in our community as it shared its Impact Report for 2020 with key donors and supporters.

The organisation is considered an essential service and remained open during lockdowns to care for thousands of sick and injured animals.

Lort Smith Head of Hospital, Dr David Cunliffe said, “The pandemic disrupted lives and caused chaos, showing no mercy and impacting life all across the world. Like many others who provided essential services during COVID-19 lockdowns, our organisation was put to the test.”

“We continued to operate through each lockdown and meet an exceptional demand for our vital services over the course of the year,” he added.

The organisation celebrating 85 years of service this year has seen how critical pets were to people during 2020.

“For many, the companionship of their pet was all they had to rely on during lockdown. The year was one that created even more emphasis on Lort Smith’s most important focus, the human-animal bond.

“We saw so many concerned pet carers coming through our doors as they picked up on medical issues while sharing more of their lives and their work spaces with their pets,” said Dr Cunliffe.

Lort Smith continued to see over 21,000 animals last year, and many of the appointments were triaged in the car park as it was turned into a mobile reception, and drive-through service by staff to minimise the transmission of COVID-19.

Nurse Leah, a 10-year veteran of Lort Smith was one of the frontline heroes who braved all the dangers to help save animal’s lives, as the demand for quality and affordable veterinary care continued to grow. A trend seen now each year, and Lort Smith responded to by increasing vet and nurse numbers from 2019 in order to deal with emergency cases.

The organisation is firmly focusing on the future and this increasing demand as it expands to support even more people in the community with the building of Lort Smith Animal Hospital – Campbellfield Centre – a vet clinic, adoption centre and dog park in Campbellfield, which is due to open in October this year.

Dr Cunliffe said, “This will mean high-quality, affordable vet care to those in the middle and outer suburbs of Melbourne’s north, north-east and north-west.

“We’re so excited to see the progress made on the building of Lort Smith Campbellfield and happy that this difficult year has not slowed us down. It represents the growth of the organisation and demand for our services across the community,” he said.

Lort Smith would like to thank all their donors, bequestors and supporters who give throughout the year and enable this high-quality vet care for our animals.

Read a copy of the 2020 Impact Report.