The Stocks Veterinary Centre in Worcester was set up in 2009 as an addition to the Stocks Veterinary Centre in Upton-upon-Severn, where there had been a practice since 1945.

The surgery takes its name from the old stocks which used to stand in New Street, Upton, then known as Stocks Lane, in the 16th Century.

The practice is now split between two centres: the main one at Upton-upon-Severn and a branch surgery at Lower Wick, Worcester.

Sara Alexander, joint clinical director at The Stocks,has always wanted to be a vet: “My mum always says that when I was a child and we were playing games with friends, being a vet was the only thing I ever used to be.

“I always grew up around animals and had friends who lived on farms so I have always loved animals.”

According to Sara, expertise and compassion are two of the things she strives for most as a vet, saying: “Compassion is everything. There are moments like when you are with an owner and it is time to say goodbye to their pet.

“We have to be prepared for all sorts of tough decisions.

Despite this, Sara says being a vet is rewarding, and: “Being able to help pets and their owners when they are struggling and seeing the happiness when they are re-united after surgery, makes it all worthwhile.

Before arriving at Stocks in 2010, Sara, 33, qualified as a vet in 2009 from the Royal Veterinary College in London. She also spent six weeks volunteering as a vet in Thailand, an experience she describes as 'great'.

Along with compassion, Sara is keen to emphasise the skill and expertise of her team, saying: “We have all trained a long time to be where we are in the veterinary world.

“We are all dedicated to constantly improving and developing to give the best care possible.

“You should never stop learning.”