MESSAGES of condolence have been pouring in after new mum Polly Birch from Stroud recently died of cancer.

Polly, 32, who was on maternity leave after giving birth to her daughter just weeks ago, was a vet at The Brambles Veterinary Surgery in Churchdown and had been suffering from cancer for the last few weeks.

The announcement came from the Brambles’ facebook page on August 4, they said: “It was with great sadness that we received the news of the passing of Polly, one of our vets.

“Polly had been on maternity leave for a few months and had been bravely battling cancer for the last few weeks.

“Many of you will have known Polly as a kind, caring and talented vet.

“She showed us all those attributes over her years at the practice, her dedication, consideration and concern for the animals under her care was exemplary.

“We were all privileged to have her as a colleague and friend and she was a great support to many both inside and outside work.

“The brave and dignified way that she dealt with her illness is an inspiration to us all.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to her husband and young daughter.

“RIP Polly and thank you for everything you gave us both professionally and personally, we are all better for having known you.”

Polly is survived by her daughter and her husband Philip.

Julie Powell, a colleague of Polly, said: “I can honestly say that Polly was one of the most amazing, talented and hard-working vets I have ever worked with.

“I feel privileged to have called her a colleague and more importantly a friend.”

Many pet owners have also paid tribute to Polly, Rhona McDonald said: “Polly was fantastic with my cat Zeke.

“She always called him Zeeky and the name has stuck, can't believe what has happened to this lovely lady.”

Angela Boucher said: “So sorry to hear this. Polly was amazing with my very nervous cat. Condolences to her family.”

Sarah Spargo said: “So very sorry to hear this! Our dog, Bobby wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Polly. Thoughts are with her family xxx”