EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)- Many Americans love their pets but it’s becoming increasingly tough to find veterinary care for our four-legged friends. That’s because the country is facing a shortage of veterinarians, a shortage that one major chain says could cause 75 million pets to go without care by the end of the decade.
It’s not just pet owners dealing with the issue, either. Eyewitness News obtained dispatch audio from Monday night revealing a search to find care for a K9 that suddenly became ill.
Local veterinary clinics like Highland Veterinary Clinic say they’re also feeling the shortage. Carol Gormley says they’ve been receiving calls from pet owners trying to find care after their veterinarian either closed, stopped accepting new clients, or is booked for months.
Gormley, whose husband has been a practicing veterinarian for 45 years, says the field can be mentally taxing, leading to a higher-than-normal suicide rate. Gormley attributes that to the debt veterinary students rack up during their education and “compassion fatigue” while dealing with clients. She says the shortage is hitting rural areas harder as young veterinarians flock to bigger cities.
Gormley says a lot has changed in the veterinary field since her husband started decades ago and adds they’re ready for a rest.