The shortage of veterinarians, emergency pet care

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 2:12 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Dr. Christopher Jank, a veterinarian at Watertown Animal Hospital, appeared on 7 News at Noon on Friday to talk about the shortage of vets and the lack of emergency coverage for pets. You can watch his full interview above.

He said there had been an arrangement between the veterinary clinics in the area to have rotating emergency coverage. This was not with an emergency clinic with 24-hour care; this was with general practitioners coming in after hours to provide urgent care.

Dr. Jank said vets burned out from the arrangement as they still had to provide regular care during the day.

Over the years the number of clinics in the rotation decreased as the number of practicing veterinarians decreased until it was no longer sustainable.

Since then, all emergencies have been referred to 24-hour emergency hospitals in Syracuse, Cornell, or elsewhere.

He said there is a shortage of veterinarians nationwide and it’s even worse in the north country.