One thousand questionnaires were distributed to a random sample of Sydney pet owners in 1974 by a market research organisation. A response rate of 37.5% was obtained. Respondents were most likely to use a veterinary practice because it was conveniently located (27%), recommended by someone (22%),or they had been dissatisfied elsewhere (8%). The majority of pet owners preferred veterinary practices to be multiman (65%), unassociated with other services (61%), and run on an open clinic system (52%) with consultation hours between 6 pm and 8 pm on weekdays (45%), and 9 am and 11 am at weekends (about 50%). 91% had no preference regarding the sex of practitioner who treated their pet. 46% of cat owners and 25% of dog owners said that they would be unwilling to spend over +30 to save their pets life while 34% of cat owners and 55% of dog owners were willing to spend over $100. Professional competence and concern for animals were the qualities pet owners desired most in veterinary surgeons and veterinary practices. After these, pet owners rated prompt attention, 24 hour emergency service and modern professional equipment as the next most important features.
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