By Mary Jennings
Stanwood Camano News 

Area veterinary clinics, shelters facing challenges


Last updated 12/8/2022 at 10:12am

Mary Jennings for the Stanwood Camano News

Clinic Director Christl Cook comforts a nervous border collie at Affordable Pet Care in Stanwood.

Area pet owners who try to schedule veterinary appointments often encounter a phone that rings off the hook or an automated message saying the clinic will get back to them as soon as possible.

When clients do connect, they often find the next available appointment can be weeks or months out.

This frustrating situation is not just happening in the Stanwood and Camano area, but it is a problem vexing many pet care-related businesses nationwide.

Pandemic game changer

During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans who were spending more time at home welcomed new cats, dogs and other critters into the mix.

So, of course, demand for pet-related services went way up. Research by the American Kennel Club found Americans have spent significantly more on care in the past few years.

Labor-intensive new protocols as a result of COVID, staff burnout due to ever-increasing workloads and a nationwide shortage of veterinarians has only intensified the situation.

Christl Cook, clinic director of Affordable Pet Care in Stanwood said the pandemic changed the industry.

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