WEST SPRINGFIELD – Deerfield Emergency and Specialty Veterinary Hospital plans to open a 12,000 square foot facility here next year to address the lack of urgent pet care in Hampden County.
West Springfield Hospital at 134 Capital Drive will be the first 24-hour emergency pet care site in Greater Springfield since the VCA Boston Road Animal Hospital in Springfield closed its emergency services in 2019.
Currently, Hampden County pet owners – which are home to approximately 104,610 dogs and 77,861 cats, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association – must travel to Deerfield or Windsor, Connecticut, for inquiries. urgent Care.
“We did a business review and looked at the needs of this population,” said Keri M. Gardent, administrator of hospital operations at the Deerfield facility on Monday. “The neighborhood has a void.
The hospital will be located in what was once a hockey retail store and across from the Olympia Ice Center. The site offers easy access to Interstate 91 and the Massachusetts Turnpike, she said.
The lack of emergency pet care in Hampden County since late 2019 has been exacerbated by an increase in the number of pet owners during the coronavirus pandemic, Gardent said. One in five American households have acquired a dog or cat since the start of the pandemic, according to a May 2021 survey by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“The world closed in March 2020 and our world has exploded,” Gardent said.
In recent months, the Emergency and Specialty Veterinary Hospital has added 30 staff to its 10,300 square foot facility located at 141 Greenfield Road (Routes 5 and 10) in Deerfield. Some workers will move to West Springfield next year and recruiting will continue over the next few months, Gardent said.
Oncology care now available in Deerfield will remain there, but other specialist services will be added in West Springfield, she said.
The emergency and specialty veterinary hospital and its business partner, National Veterinary Associates, began exploring possible sites in Hampden County in late 2019 and selected the Capital Drive location from among 20 possibilities, he said. she declared.
“We are building everything from scratch,” Gardent said.
The hospital has started the licensing process needed to turn the old retail space into an animal hospital, according to the West Springfield Planning Department. Site plan approval was not required as the hospital falls under the approved uses for the parcel.
“I am delighted to see this addition to our community,” said Mayor William Reichelt. “Having an emergency veterinary hospital in West Springfield will be great for many families who need their services. It’s a much faster route to take than having to travel to South Deerfield, MA or Windsor, CT, this addition will reduce travel time and wait times.