Northland Animal Clinics Overwhelmed By Pandemic Adoption Surge
Did you get a pet during COVID-19? Many people did, which in most cases is a good thing. Animal Allies had a unique situation where they had no problem finding homes for their rescued dogs and cats. It seems like just about everyone on our block added a pet to their family as we were all locked up in our houses for so long. However, now almost 2 years later we are seeing another problem, and that's when you need to get care for your pet.
I've talked with several vet technicians in the Northland and they say it's overwhelming. Like everywhere they are dealing with a workforce shortage. In fact, a lot of veterinary clinics were already facing labor issues before COVID-19. With so many more patients now, the already stressed system is hurting. Wait times are up at offices, and pet owners are getting frustrated. It sometimes leads to altercations with overworked staff members. They ask that you please be kind and patient as they are doing their best.
Earlier this summer our dog got sick and my wife had to bring her to the vet as an emergency patient. My wife sat in the car waiting for her turn for 4 hours. They were that busy on a typical day.
Being a veterinary technician is a tough job. CNN reports that half of vet techs leave the profession in their first five years. 35% of vet techs quit eventually anyway. Low pay, rude people, and the emotional toll of dealing with dying animals all lead to burnout.
The bottom line in this situation is that there needs to be change for Vet techs including higher pay and more people in the field before we see the right workforce balance. It's going to take several years for things to get back to normal for wait times.