Shortage of vets leads to delays in care and crowded animal shelters


CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter is seeing an increase in stray and lost dogs, and a shortage of veterinarians may be to blame.

“Our veterinary clinics that we use to help us with emergencies are often short of veterinarians,” said Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter Director Mindy Naticchioni. “There’s no one to help the animals, or the check-ins and waits are so long you may not be able to get in if you have an animal that needs after-hours care.”

Pet owners usually have to find another option to ensure their pets get the care they need. Often the alternatives are more expensive.

“If your pet has an ear infection, you usually won’t go to the emergency clinic, but if you can’t find a private vet to see, you don’t have many other resources to treat your pet. animal other than going to emergency,” Naticchioni said. “And when that’s not an option, then what?

Unfortunately, pet owners sometimes have to resort to abandoning their pets, which fills shelters.

Also, sicker incoming dogs lead to other problems.

“Because we see animals coming in that have more illnesses, they tend to stay longer with us because we want them to be cured before we put them into new homes,” Naticchioni said.

Pets also take longer to adopt.

It’s a vicious cycle that seems to indicate fewer animal care options.

While there’s no simple solution, Naticchioni said the shelter relies on foster parents and volunteers to help.

If you would like to help the shelter, but cannot foster a dog, there are many other options.

You can donate or attend a fundraising event like Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter’s Jog for Dogs.

The event is on Sunday, September 18, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

It includes a 5k run or a mile walk, 40 vendors, food trucks and a beer tent.

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