Petition calls for 24/7 animal care to be restored in Chatham-Kent
Chatham-Kent, Ont. –
There is a petition calling on Chatham-Kent vets to restore emergency animal care to their clinics.
He says the nearest 24/7 facilities are an hour away in Windsor or London, and depending on the nature of the problem, not all pets may survive the ride.
âThere are 11 clinics in the Chatham-Kent area. If they had to alternate between emergency services, they would only have to work 4.7 weeks per year, âexplains Lynn Leveille.
She intends to keep the petition where she works at PetFood Warehouse for two months, hoping that enough signatures can be obtained before winter arrives.
âI can’t say how many after-hours emergencies happen, I honestly can’t. But, there has to be a better answer than making us travel this distance to take care of our pets, âsays Leveille.
Wait times in Windsor are as high as 48 hours according to one of the city’s 24/7 animal hospitals.
Management at Walker Road Animal Hospital released a statement to CTV News on Monday saying it had been inundated with cases from Windsor-Essex and beyond, noting animals had come from as far away as London and Sarnia.
“The Walker Road Animal Hospital is designed to handle veterinary emergencies for the people of Windsor-Essex County,” the statement said. âThe Walker Road Animal Hospital cannot handle all of the emergency flow in southwestern Ontario. “
He goes on to say that the hospital is not equipped or staffed for such an “overwhelming” number of emergencies.
âWe regret making political decisions that impact clinics in remote towns outside of Essex County, but we must remain a viable emergency medicine option for the people of Windsor-Essex County. “
The statement also says staff do not refuse sick animals, regardless of where they come from, but points out that the Walker Road location cannot serve as an emergency hospital for clinics in Kent, Lambton, Elgin counties. or Middlesex.
âIt’s always a business at the end of the day and they always have to take care of their clients and clients, so I get it,â says Myriam Armstrong, operations manager for Pet and Wildlife Rescue Chatham-Kent.
She says it’s understandable that departments in major cities need to limit cases outside the city, explaining that there is an overwhelming shortage of veterinary services across the province.
âIt is estimated that we are missing about 300 veterans in Ontario alone,â says Armstrong. âI know for a fact that local veterinary clinics have difficulty finding veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants. So it’s a shortage at all levels.
Armstrong believes the global pandemic is partly to blame, saying it could take years to resolve.
âObviously, COVID hasn’t helped,â she says. âA lot of people with veterinary degrees cannot come to the country, not only to open a clinic, but even just to pass their exams to become a veterinarian in Canada. So this is a huge problem.