PET lovers expressed their dismay and anger at the planned closure on May 30, of the Vets4Pets surgery in Marlborough last Friday (May 17) by demonstrating outside the surgery.

An online petition demanding the veterinary practice at the Marlborough Business Park off Salisbury Road has already had more than 200 signatures.

Roger Watts, 70, of Axford said it was plain wrong to close the practice as part of cost cutting by the national chain.

He said: "I only heard through word of mouth. There was no consultation or a letter to say they were closing. It's a shame as they are damn good vets."

Frankie Watts, 31, from Malrborough who organised the protest and petition said the practice was highly popular as it was seen as 'the people's vet' as they had payment plans and help those on low incomes.

She said: "The team at the practice go above and beyond what is required. They give personal service and really know your pets."

A spokesperson for Vets4Pets said: "In line with the announcement that the business made to Joint Venture Partners, colleagues and shareholders in November of last year, we conducted a review of our practice estate and have taken the decision to buy back into company ownership, or close a small number of practices."Our Marlborough practice was in a location that fell into the small number of businesses that we took the decision to close, based on our view of the longer term viability of the practice.

"We are in the process of writing to all clients of the surgery and signposting them to the nearest Vets4Pets to be able to continue to provide the best veterinary care for their pets.

"However, we do recognise that a different Vets4Pets surgery will not be convenient for everyone and we do apologise for this.

The firm said they hoped to offer alternative employment to the staff to avoid redundancies.”

However the campaigners say they are not giving up. They are determined to put pressure on the company to reverse their decision.

They said the firm admitted this was the first time pet owners had created a petition to keep a practice open.