NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Finding care for some pets in New Mexico when it’s most critical is becoming harder and harder. Staffing issues are forcing some vet clinics to change their hours and leaving limited options for pet owners.
It’s now a dire situation, throughout the entire state of New Mexico there is only one 24/7 emergency vet clinic. “I knew with human doctors we had this kind of shortage problem but you know I didn’t really think bigger picture,” said Michelle Holubiack. She had to find out in the middle of an emergency.
Her beloved dog, Chance, had been attacked by her neighbors dogs.”I was panicked you know I came home to my dog sitting in a pool of blood,” said Holubiack.
“I got home around midnight and so I like frantically called several clinics in Albuquerque and while they were open they didn’t have a doctor,” said Holubiack.
Those clinics all referred her to the Roadrunner Vet Emergency Clinic in Algodones. “There was really a need for another ER and we didn’t necessarily think we could do it better we just thought their needed to be another one,” said Ashlee Andrews. Andrews owns Roadrunner, splitting her time between there and the offices in Albuquerque. She says it’s pure luck they’ve been able to stay open.
“Staffing is a huge issue. Staffing 24 hours is really hard and with covid staffing has gotten harder in general,” said Andrews. Without the proper amount of staff, clinics are now being forced to close.
Andrews says it’s not just a problem here in New Mexico. Now, because they are the only 24/7 clinic open, they can get swamped with cases. “We routinely have people from the four corners, from Durango, Pagosa area,” said Andrews.
Holubiack says it was well worth the wait. “I didn’t even consider that they wouldn’t take him or I didnt care how long it would take,” said Holubiack. Chance is well on the road to recovery. Andrews says they are hoping to move to a bigger location in Albuquerque by the end of the year.