Michiganders face long waits to see veterinarians

Clinics across Michigan are struggling to keep workers in all positions.
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 6:31 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Pet owners could be waiting a long time to get their animals in to see a veterinarian.

Both Mount Hope and Riverfront animal hospitals closed at a time when demand is sky high due to all the pandemic pet adoptions.

When Michelle Buck adopted Cupid, she though she was taking home a healthy cat, but she soon learned at Waverly Animal Hospital that her furry friend was very sick. Diagnosed with wet feline infectious peritonitis, Cupid’s outlook was grim. Most cats don’t make it, but Cupid did, becoming the first cat at the clinic to survive the illness.

“Without their care and love and and kindness, Cupid would not be here today,” Buck said. “We’ve shared lots of hugs and tears - both sad and happy - here and everyone here has been amazing.”

Wavery Animal Hospital is doing whatever it can to continue giving that level of care, but with major staffing shortages, it’s difficult. Clinics across Michigan are struggling to keep workers in all positions.

“Not only are we short staffed, I think the demand is so high we just don’t have enough people to keep up with it,” said Jordyn Hughes, with Willoughby Veterinary Hospital.

Demand is high because so many people got pets during the pandemic, and as those pandemic pets age, some clinics think there will be no end in sight.

“I think as the coming years, as all of these pandemic puppies get older, I think the world might explode again, coming back to that huge influx of what is now young is now getting older,” Hughes said.

Clinics said pet owners were less likely to get preventative care for their pets during the pandemic and now veterinarians are playing catchup.

“So, bear with us. We are trying our absolute best to get everybody seen,” said Jeanine Pierce, with Waverly Animal Hospital. “And if we refer you, just understand that it’s for your pet’s best interest.”

Both Waverly and Willoughby animal hospitals said they are doing whatever they can to get to every client, it just might be a longer wait. They are urging people to not wait if their pet is sick and needs care.

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