Dog and cat owners in the Binghamton area now face a long drive if their pet needs emergency care at night, on weekends or on holidays.

Vestal Veterinary Hospital, which had provided after-hours services, has changed its long-standing policy.

The Vestal Parkway facility now provides emergency care on a reduced schedule. According to its website, the change took effect on November 21.

The word "EMERGENCY" was covered on the sign at Vestal Veterinary Hospital on December 7, 2021. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
The word "EMERGENCY" was covered on the sign at Vestal Veterinary Hospital on December 7, 2021. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

In the past, veterinarians in Broome and Tioga counties referred pet owners to the Vestal office for emergency treatment on weekends or holidays.

The Vestal Veterinary Hospital statement said the reduced hours for urgent care services will be in effect "until further notice due to shortages in personnel and a demanding caseload."

After-hours care now may be more than 50 miles away at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Companion Animal Hospital in Ithaca.

Some pet owners in the Binghamton area may choose to travel to Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center in Clarks Summit. That office has reduced its emergency hours in recent months due to staffing limitations.

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