Veterinary hospital cuts hours due to shortage of vets

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – A Jonesboro animal hospital is feeling the pinch of a vet shortage after being inundated with patients for weeks.

Allied Animal ER had to reduce its hours from 24 hours a day to just three days a week to ease the workload of the six doctors.

Allied Animal Health Facebook post 9-28(KAIT 8)

“We see between 14 and 15 cases over a period of about 6 to 7 hours,” said Dr Amy Laws.

Dr. Laws is one of the owners of Allied Animal ER, and she mentioned that each doctor would spend an average of 24-36 hours per month in addition to the 45 hours they spend in their home clinics.

“We just don’t have vets willing to come in and work a few extra shifts,” she said.

The doctor added that even with the reduction in working hours, working days at the animal hospital will still be long, sometimes working until two in the morning.

If your pet has any health issues, Dr. Laws recommends monitoring your pet if their symptoms are mild and contacting your trusted veterinarian for an appointment as soon as their practice is open. Adding appointments can fill up quickly.

However, if your pet exhibits symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or fatigue, he urges you to visit an emergency veterinary service in Little Rock or Memphis.

Arkansas State University is still working on developing a veterinary school program, which will be one of the first in nature.

Bill Smith, the university’s communications director, says the school is still in the study phase.

“It’s an ongoing process, and we continue to explore the possibility of bringing this college of veterinary medicine to Jonesboro,” Smith said.

Smith added that he hopes the vet school will help add more vets to the workforce to ease the shortage in Arkansas.

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Benjamin M. Yerger