Heartland animal hospitals join up to offer emergency vet hours

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (KFVS) - After an animal emergency center closed their doors due to not being able to keep a vet on staff, they joined with other area clinics.

Deer Ridge Animal Hospital posted on Facebook it joined with Crosspoint, Dogwood and Scott City Animal Hospitals to form a veterinary emergency group to help clients after hours.

You can call 573-339-8197 Monday through Thursday and 573-339-8137 Friday night through Monday morning if you have an emergency with your pet.

Pet owners with an emergency had only one option for care in southeast Missouri.

Since 2009 people have been able to take their furry friends to the Animal Emergency Center in Scott City, but on Tuesday, May 30 that changed.

The owner of the center said he simply couldn't keep a vet on staff to keep it open.

"It was a long process in trying to determine if we could survive or not," said Dr. Steve Williams, the owner of the center. "If you don't have the help to man it then there's no way to keep it open."

Williams described it as a revolving door of veterinarians. One vet would come to the center but would leave for a job with more regular hours as soon as possible. The fact that it was kept open for emergencies kept him going for a long time.

Now if you have an emergency the best person to contact is your normal vet.

"We're gonna be on call for small animals the whole week through," said  Shane Voshage a vet a Jackson Veterinary Clinic. "It's important to have a veterinary client/patient relationship so you do have that luxury of having a vet you can consult with in emergencies or see your pet after hours."

If a vet would like to come in and fill the position, Williams said he will gladly work with them to keep the center open.

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