Broome Residents Petitioning for After-Hours Emergency Pet Care
More than a thousand people have signed an online petition expressing concern about the lack of emergency veterinary services in the Binghamton area.
For nearly two years, Broome County dog and cat owners who needed after-hours treatment for their pets often have had to travel to Ithaca to get help.
Vestal Veterinary Hospital, which was the last local facility to offer late-night or weekend emergency care, ended the service in November 2021.
Barbara Pegura of Chenango Bridge recently sought help for her 15-year-old cat who became ill during the evening. The office of her pet's vet was about to close, so she was advised to transport her cat to Cornell Veterinary Hospital in Ithaca. He died before arriving there.
Pegura said emergency after-hours services in Broome County were expensive when they were available but pet owners were willing to pay for them.
When the Vestal Veterinary Hospital announced the end of late-night and weekend, it cited staffing shortages. A spokesperson for the office told WNBF News that the situation remains unchanged with the office always working to hire more qualified people.
A petition posted at change.org is directed at veterinarians of Broome, Tioga and Chenango counties. It seeks to make them aware "of the sadness, angst and feelings of helplessness when a pet owner is faced with the need" of after-hours care when it's not available.
The petition calls on area veterinarians to reestablish a rotating pool to provide after-hours emergency care.