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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

Pet hospitals remain overworked and understaffed amidst pandemic

Some of the new rules include owners staying outside and vet techs bringing the animals in alone.

SAN DIEGO — Animal clinics all over the country are feeling the pandemic. Some are struggling to meet the demand of clients while keeping their workers safe.

Even through a pandemic, Dr. Crystal Steib has been treating dogs like little Rosie at Morena Pet Hospital. 

“We did not close at all,” she said. “I knew that I had patients that were sick and needed assistance, so I came in. I had two staff members with me. That was several days that we practiced like that.”

Rosie’s owner was lucky to get her an appointment, as pet hospitals and clinics have had to drastically reduce the number of patients that the veterinarian can see in a day. New rules like not allowing customers into the building make it so instead, a vet picks the pet up curbside. After the examination, the veterinarian will then call the patient to give a diagnosis.

“Things that used to take 30 minutes now take an hour,” said Dr. Steib.

The hospital is then put in the uncomfortable situation of prioritizing sick animals first.

“Literally the phones don’t stop, they’re having to triage,” said Dr. Steib. 

She went on to say, “we are trying to figure out who is in need right now and who can wait.”

This has led to some angry clients demanding that the small clinic see their pet. It got so bad that Steib posted a video on Facebook venting her frustrations.

“Of course, we’re all in this business because we love animals and we want to take care of them," she said.

Patience, empathy and support, please!

Update from behind closed doors...veterinary professionals need help! We are no where near getting back to normal, and it’s killing us 😥

Posted by Morena Pet Hospital on Wednesday, June 24, 2020

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