Model and fitness vet Sophie Putland took her own life during Covid sixth lockdown in Melbourne, Victoria

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A ‘fun and caring’ fitness model and vet who once auditioned for Bondi Vet tragically committed suicide after being relentlessly abused by a client during Melbourne’s sixth lockdown.

Sophie Putland battled depression and, according to a friend, was in a state of despair when an irate customer filed a series of complaints about her work at Swan Street Vet in the eastern suburbs of Richmond.

The 33-year-old struggled with her sanity during Covid lockdowns – at one point she wrote on Instagram that her sanity was ‘hanging by a thread’ – but a friend confirmed on Tuesday that a campaign to abuse had pushed her to the limit.

Last week, she ended her own life.

In a heartbreaking Facebook post, the friend described the horrific abuse vets endure daily from disgruntled customers.

Sophie Putland (pictured) took her own life last week after endless complaints from an angry customer

Sophie Putland (pictured) was also a fitness model who took part in bodybuilding competitions

Sophie Putland (pictured) was also a fitness model who took part in bodybuilding competitions

“When we are fighting to save the life of your pet, do not abuse us. Don’t comment like we’re in this for the money. Don’t say we could have done better. Don’t yell at us. Do not take your frustrations off us. Don’t be a horrible person, ”she wrote.

“You could push someone overboard. You don’t know what it’s like to lose a patient you tried to save, or to save a patient and then be abused for what it will cost the owner.

“Sophie ended her life because of it. Because someone chose to mistreat her.

According to the Australian Veterinary Association, veterinarians have one of the highest suicide rates, about four times the national average, or about one suicide every 12 weeks in Australia.

The alarming statistic is twice as high as their counterparts in human medicine.

In an Instagram post in 2020, Sophie Putland (pictured) said she struggled during Covid lockdowns

In an Instagram post in 2020, Sophie Putland (pictured) said she struggled during Covid lockdowns

Sophie exercised to try to stay on top of her sanity and took up fitness competitions.

Sophie exercised to try to stay on top of her sanity and took up fitness competitions.

Claire MacRae, who is also a veterinarian and was friends with Sophie, told Daily Mail Australia that clients often complain to the Board of Veterinary Surgeons when they are not satisfied with the service provided.

The majority of complaints filed are unfounded and dismissed, but the board is obligated to investigate every case – even if it was presented by an irrational and angry customer looking for someone responsible for the death. of his pet.

“Having a complaint to the board is incredibly stressful and so easy for an unhappy customer to file,” said Dr. MacRae.

“It can take years for the vet to receive the decision on their case, and in the meantime they have this threat to their livelihood hanging over their heads – the boards have the power to deregister vets temporarily or permanently, or to apply other sanctions.

“Sophie had dealt with a particularly vindictive complainant, and it would certainly have taken a toll on her mental health.”

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Vetboard Victoria for comment.

Family and friends have flocked to social media to pay tribute to Sophie Putland, who died last week

Family and friends have flocked to social media to pay tribute to Sophie Putland, who died last week

Sophie worked as a veterinarian in South Australia, before moving to Melbourne two years ago

Sophie worked as a veterinarian in South Australia, before moving to Melbourne two years ago

Sophie was open about her mental health issues during Covid lockdowns in 2020

Sophie was open about her mental health issues during Covid lockdowns in 2020

Sophie has spoken openly about her mental health issues during the state’s second wave of Covid in August last year – when citizens were banned from leaving their homes for 111 days.

She wrote on Instagram that she was “hanging on to sanity by a thread” and thanked her local gym for providing fitness equipment to use during the restrictions – otherwise “I would definitely be in a deep pit. depression ”.

“In 2020 you are a big pile of dog poop,” she added.

Melburnians have now endured more than 200 days of confinement since the start of the pandemic, with 221 new cases of Covid recorded on Wednesday.

The vet, who is from South Australia, used the exercise to fight his depression and took part in a series of bodybuilding and fitness competitions.

In 2017, she auditioned for a role alongside famed Doctor Chris Brown in Bondi Vet.

“Fitness is a big passion for me,” she said in her audition video.

“I believe that physical and mental health are interrelated and it is so, so important to make it a priority in your life, especially as a vet because it can be quite a stressful job.”

Sophie auditioned to star alongside famed Doctor Chris Brown in Bondi Vet.  Pictured: Sophie in her audition video

Sophie auditioned to star alongside famed Doctor Chris Brown in Bondi Vet. Pictured: Sophie in her audition video

In the days following his death, his friends and family have flocked to social media to pay tribute to him.

In the days following his death, his friends and family have flocked to social media to pay tribute to him.

Swan Street Vet in Richmond, southeast Melbourne, said in a statement (pictured) Sophie's death was sudden and unexpected

Swan Street Vet in Richmond, southeast Melbourne, said in a statement (pictured) Sophie’s death was sudden and unexpected

In the days following his death, his friends and family have flocked to social media to pay tribute to him.

Her cousin, Hugh Atkinson, said he was especially proud of Sophie’s accomplishments as a vet and being so open about her mental health issues.

“We did not know the extent of your desperation,” he wrote.

‘In the end, you just wanted the pain to stop… and I understand that.’

Her younger brother, Olly Putland, uploaded a photo to Facebook of the two of them together and wrote: “my dear sister”. I miss you so much! TEAR.’

A friend commented, “Our hearts are broken over the loss of Sophie. I send you lots of love and hugs to share with you at this sad time.

“Sleep peacefully forever. RIP beautiful Sophie. ‘

A colleague also said Sophie was “a fun, caring, genuine, great vet, but more importantly a great human.”

For 24/7 confidential support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14


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