Pet Owners

What to expect when your pet is admitted


  • What is a Referral?
  • The Referral Process
  • What to do while your pet is with us
  • Payment Options

What is a Referral?

All vets practicing in the UK are regulated and accredited by the RCVS and are required to be members of the RCVS (MRCVS). The majority of these vets work as primary-care practitioners in general practice and provide your pet with both preventative healthcare and treatment for illness and injury.

The RCVS also recognises and accredits vets with further knowledge and skill in a certain area, in a two-tier system;

Advanced Practitioners are veterinary surgeons who have demonstrated knowledge and experience in a particular area of veterinary practice beyond their initial primary veterinary degree. They usually have a postgraduate qualification, such as a certificate, in their chosen area.

Specialists are veterinary surgeons who have achieved a postgraduate qualification at least at Diploma level, make an active contribution to their specialty, have national and international acclaim and publish widely in their field.

At Ark Referrals, we have Advanced Practitioners in medicine, surgery and exotics. They are also supported by vets who hold a postgraduate certificate but are not registered as Advanced Practitioners, and vets who are currently studying for a postgraduate certificate.

If your pet has a particularly complicated condition, or is not responding to treatment as expected, we may seek the advice and support of an RCVS Specialist. Sometimes, we may also refer your pet onwards to them. We have a number of RCVS Specialists with whom we have a close working relationship and whom we trust to provide you and your pet with the very highest standard of veterinary care.

The Referral Process

If your pet is unwell or injured, you should always visit your primary-care vet in the first instance. This may be at another practice that you normally attend, or if you are a client of Holly House, with one of our general practice team. They will advise what initial treatment your pet might need and may then discuss referral to a member of the Ark Referrals team, if this is appropriate to your pet’s condition.

A referral must always be made by your primary-care vet and is easily done via the website. We will request all the clinical information that we need to make sure that your pet can be offered an appointment promptly and with the right person. Please note that we are unable to offer advice directly to owners about patients that are not yet under our care, which means we cannot discuss your pet’s condition with you until he or she has had a consultation with us.

Once a referral has been made to us, we will usually contact you directly to arrange an appointment. Ashley Arundale RVN is our Ark Referrals Coordinator and will usually discuss the process in detail with you, including who you will be seeing, at which branch your appointment will take place and how long it is expected to take. Ashley has been working in this role for a long time and, as both a nurse and pet owner, she is well placed to answer your questions and support you through the referral process.

What to do while your pet is with us

There may be occasions when your pet is with us for a day procedure and you may choose to remain in the local area for the day, rather than making a journey home and back again. We might be biased, but we think that Moortown is the best part of Leeds and there is plenty to do in the area!


Roundhay Park

Roundhay is our local award-winning green space, incorporating Tropical World, the largest collection of tropical plants outside of Kew Gardens.

Harewood House

A beautiful stately home with acres of gardens and grounds to explore, including a popular Bird Garden.

Eccup Reservoir

A lovely circular walk, passing through woodland, the village of Eccup, over a dam and along a local golf course.

Places to Eat

Aromas Coffee House

Walk up to the crossroads with Harrogate Road and turn right. This lovely little café is just next door to Cook.

Corner House Coffee Bar & Kitchen

Walk up to the crossroads with Harrogate Road and turn left. This café is just next door to Halifax/Carphone Warehouse and does fantastic coffee.

M&S Simply Food

Walk up to the crossroads with Harrogate Road and turn left. M&S is a short walk along the road, on your left.

Further Afield

Harrogate and Ilkley

Both of these famous Yorkshire towns are only 30 minutes by car and, more importantly, they each have a Betty’s Tea Room! Ilkley has a lovely river and a number of boutique-style independent shops. Harrogate has more than its fair share of restaurants, designer shops and even Turkish Baths.

Places to Stay

Mercure Leeds Parkway

Premier Inn Leeds Headingly

Payment Options

We understand how stressful and worrying it can be when your pet is unwell, and we aim to make the financial side of things as clear and straightforward as possible.

It is practice policy to provide you with an estimate for any treatment that we recommend, beyond the initial consultation. This is generally done at the time of the consultation, once the vet has a better understanding of the specific treatment that your pets requires, but an estimate for a specific procedure can sometimes be provided ahead of time, on request. Please be aware that these are estimates only and that costs can be subject to change depending on the specific treatment needs of your pet. We always try to provide regular financial updates and you can also ask us for an update of costs at any point during your pet’s treatment.

We undertake a number of surgical procedures on a fixed price basis. Please see HERE for a list of prices and details of what is included within the fixed price.

Insured Pets

If you have pet insurance, we can help you to do either an “indirect claim” or a “direct claim”.

An “indirect claim” is where you pay for treatment costs in full and then submit a claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. You are required to pay a 50% deposit of the estimated costs at the time of your initial consultation or admission appointment; the balance is then due on collection of your pet.

A “direct claim” is where we are reimbursed the treatment costs directly by your insurance company. You are required to provide a signed claim form and pay your policy excess, an administration fee and a £250 deposit at the time of your initial consultation or admission appointment. The deposit is to cover any deductions that your insurance company may make based on your policy, such as a co-payment, and any outstanding money will be refunded to you once the claim is settled. Please note that we are unable to do direct claims with certain insurance companies; please check with us before treatment for your pet commences.

Non-insured Pets

If you do not have insurance, you are required to pay a 50% deposit of the estimated costs at the time of your initial consultation or admission appointment; the balance is then due on collection of your pet.

We know how nerve racking it can feel leaving your pet in hospital. We want to reassure you that your pet will receive the best possible care during their stay with us. Once your pet has been admitted into the hospital you will receive an email with a patient questionnaire to complete; this is so we can gather information about your pet’s usual routine in order to minimise stress and make your pet’s stay as comfortable as possible.

Each patient has their own file with information such as any scheduled procedures and medications. This allows the vets and nurses to form a plan for your pet and monitor their progress throughout the duration of their stay in hospital.

A diet will be selected for each individual patient and a nutritional plan is then placed into the patient’s file. We hold a selection of different food types in the hospital, ranging from dry kibble to wet food. We also have some tastier foods to encourage those patients with a decreased appetite. We have a variety of food bowls available, ranging in size and materials, should your pet have a preference.

Patients are assessed regularly; the vets carry out a clinical examination three times per day, along with regular nurse checks. During this time, the patients’ observations are taken, this includes; temperature checks, assessing heart rate and rhythm, respiratory rate and mucous membranes. This gives the clinical staff a good indication of how the patient is responding to treatment and adjustments can be made if necessary. The patients are also assessed on how well they are responding to any pain relief by performing pain scores. The pain management plan can then be altered if needed.

Throughout the day, our patients are given the opportunity to go to the toilet. For dogs, this involves a short walk out to the garden every couple of hours. Cats are provided with a suitable litter tray and litter which is changed regularly. We also provided litter trays for those small furries who are litter trained.

During the evenings and overnight we have a night team on site who continue to provide around the clock care.

Other ways we try to keep your pets as comfortable as possible:

  • Grooming
  • Lots of TLC
  • Calming music in the wards to minimise stress
  • Providing hides/covering kennels
  • Lots of warm bedding
  • Orthopaedic mattresses for comfort
  • Pet remedy diffusers
  • Toys/enrichment
  • Bathing if necessary

We have separate wards; dogs, cats, small furries, reptiles and isolation. This ensures that your pet’s needs are met as effectively as possible and helps to minimise stress during hospitalisation.

Emergency Services

Emergency Services

Find out what to do in an out of hours emergency

CT Information for Owners

CT Information for Owners

Important CT information for Pet Owners

Exotics Referrals

Exotics Referrals

Information about exotic referral appointments