A SWANAGE woman has started what is believed to be Purbeck's only 24/7 pet ambulance.

Charlotte Erika Walker, 47, has launched the pet ambulance to help pets in need get to the vets quickly. 

With little help in the area due to the recent closure of Swanage's Lynwood Vets in December, Charlotte was made aware of the need for such a service when her own dog, Skippy, fell ill with bloat which can kill within minutes.

Skippy survived the incident after surgery.

Charlotte said: "I needed to get my dog to an emergency vet which was 45 minutes away and while I was driving, I was thinking 'what happens if I wasn't able to drive or I didn't have a vehicle?'

"A lot of normal taxis will say they're dog friendly but when a dog or any type of animal is sick, they're not going to allow them within their taxi because obviously there's going to be spoilage. We're filling in that service."

With a fully equipped, DVLA licensed ambulance, Charlotte is ready to help in any situation, working closely with vets to provide the best service she can. 

Fully trained in animal first aid, Charlotte has found it funny to see the confusion of ambulance services who see her vehicle. 

She said: "I don't have blue lights but I do have an orange light so if I'm at the side of the road and dealing with a situation that I have full warning sign.

"It does have the markings of an ambulance and I've had some human ambulances come up behind me trying to figure out who I am."

Taking on a large responsibility single-handedly, she said the challenge doesn't daunt her but is in fact an 'honour'.

She said: "I wouldn't say it's a heavy responsibility, we have had mental health training but I think it's an honour to be honest to be able to provide this service to people."

Franchised from Animals at Home, Charlotte will provide service from the Isle of Purbeck to Poole.