Metro Detroit pet owners facing obstacles with setting vet appointments

Some clinics have limited employees, appointments due to COVID-19

Pet owners facing obstacles to schedule vet appointments

Some pet owners are finding vet appointments to be scarce lately, and emergency procedures are forcing wait times several hours longer than normal.

Emmy, a Beagle mix, had been Melaina Bukowski’s shadow for more than half her life. Sadly last year, Bukowski saw that their 17-year relationship was coming to an end.

“Her health really started to diminish, which was really hard to watch,” she said.

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READ: Why you need to prepare your dog for after the COVID-19 pandemic

Bukowski was trying to make final arrangements for Emmy but found any kind of appointment tough to schedule.

“For social distancing reasons (you’d have to) drop them off and stay outside and I couldn’t do that. I just couldn’t do that to my girl,” she said.

Curbside drop-off is one of the factors currently tightening the schedules for veterinarians.

At Hilton Veterinary Clinic of Ferndale, Dr. Betsy Schnur’s team has had to also limit the number of employees and lighten appointments. It’s even more difficult for emergencies.

“We don’t get to see you, we don’t to communicate facial expressions. Nobody like to turn a client away no matter what, or a patient in need,” Schnur said. “Nowadays, we’re talking six or seven hours wait times.”

In the end, for Emmy, Bukowski was able to find a vet who did an at-home euthanasia.

“Seeing that she could be comfortable and we could hold her the whole time in a place she was familiar and she felt the warmth and love of home, that just made it so much easier. It was still tough but it made it a lot easier to get through,” she said.

The sixth annual Jelly Bean Jump Up fundraiser -- in support of nonprofit SafeHouse Center -- will feature a cocktail named after Emmy. Click here to learn more.

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About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.