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Christmas bags appeal to help homeless people and their pets
The bags are being dropped off at soup kitchens across Edinburgh.

Vet students and charities band together to distribute vital items

Edinburgh vet students have been distributing rucksacks stuffed full of essential items to help homeless people and their pets.

For the second year in a row, the bags are being dropped off at soup kitchens across Edinburgh and delivered to people living on the city’s streets. They contain warm clothing, toiletries, blankets, food items and a Christmas card.

Items for dogs are being given out at a student-run veterinary clinic, All4Paws, which provides free pet care for homeless and vulnerable people. They include reflective jackets, leads, toys, dental chews, food and blankets.

The initiative is a collaboration between students from the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the Roslin Institute and local homeless charities. It was launched in 2016 by Edinburgh graduate Jaime-Leigh Thompson and is led this year by students Marie Gallagher and Katie Ross.

Third-year vet student, Marie Gallagher, said: "The outstanding success and support from the vet school and all its friends has been fantastic. It's so heart-warming to know that we're helping someone this Christmas.”

Fellow student Katie Ross said: "The involvement from everyone at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute has been incredible, and it has been so rewarding to see so many people band together to contribute to such an important cause.”

Image (C) University of Edinburgh

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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