▶️ Due to hiring shortage, Bend loses 24/7 emergency veterinary services

Becky Stock took her dog to the Bend Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center after he swallowed two gardening gloves.

“As a pet owner you never want to have to use emergency services, but when you need it for your pets life and death health, it’s critical,” Stock said.

Now, she isn’t sure what she’ll do if her dog has a late-night emergency.

“What if you pet passes away because there’s no resource available?” Stock said.

The Bend Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center was the only place in Central Oregon offering emergency services for pets after midnight.

But starting May 1, they’ll be closed between midnight at 8 a.m. because they can’t hire enough staff to stay open.

That means if your pet has an issue in the middle of the night, there really isn’t anywhere to go.

“We want people to understand this is happening and there is a change in veterinary services in our area, and take notice of it now and make plans now,” Lynne Ouchida, outreach manager with the Humane Society of Central Oregon, said.

Ouchida said the Humane Society of Central Oregon depended on those overnight services.

“We’re going to have to figure out plan B until hopefully they can get back to working 24 hours a day,” Ouchida said.

Across town, the Veterinary Referral Center of Central Oregon wants to offer 24/7 emergency care, but they’re also struggling to hire enough staff to make it happen.

“It’s particularly hard to again find those skilled veterinary technicians and assistants to provide that level of care that we need,” Dr. Jennifer Bentley, a veterinary dermatologist at the center, said. “It’s even harder to get that care we need overnight.”

Some local veterinarians are stepping up to provide late night care for already established clients in leu of the emergency center.

Dr. Bentley suggests calling your primary vet to ask what services they’re providing.

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