by Gigi McWhirter
Those of us in the animal care field able to stay open during the pandemic quarantines did so by offering things like curbside service, mandatory masks, and limiting the number of humans into our buildings.
A lot of us also had to do things like stop or limit walk-ins or refer patients in need of immediate care to urgent care or emergency hospitals. None of which, we enjoy doing.
Here is an interesting math lesson about vet medicine in our area. On a good Monday through Friday — between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. — there are potentially 12 doctors seeing patients. On Saturdays and Sundays, there is only one practice open with one veterinarian seeing patients.
Now, assume that the population of Casa Grande (which at last unofficial count) was 70,000 people. Then assume there is one cat or dog per human (knowing some people have none and some people have several) and divide that by 12. Now throw into the equation the population of the surrounding areas of Maricopa, Coolidge, Florence, Sells, Sacaton, and Eloy and every pet owner between … well you get the drift.
Did I mention farm animals and horses? Well, there simply are not enough vets to go around. Not to mention qualified support staff. Attracting doctors to our area — whether for animals or humans — is extremely difficult.
So do us all a huge favor: When you do get an appointment, and for whatever reason cannot keep, please call and let the office know. By doing so, you allow the team to schedule another animal in your place.
When you call the office, please speak clearly and do not be offended when the person cannot find your pet’s name because you offered a creative way of spelling it or because you may have registered your name under one of several surnames. Sometimes clients can be looked up by telephone number, but not all numbers show up on the caller ID or, you have changed your number and didn’t tell the office.
Don’t freak out if the office is running behind. Especially if you were offered a walk-in slot. Vet emergency centers have been known to have eight-hour wait times because they are overwhelmed with clients who cannot be seen by their local vet.
Finally, from our friends at Animal Control — when you see an officer trying to catch an animal, back off and let them do their job. If they need or want your help, they will ask. Frightened animals often run and or bite. Also, keep your contact information current so you can be reached either through the microchip or license registries.
Happy Tails to You!