Mr. Stripey is the permanent resident, lovebug/ambassador at Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland. Chase spends some cuddling time with Mr. Stripey this weekend. Critteraid has more than 20 cats and kittens up for adoption. (Monique Tamminga)

Mr. Stripey is the permanent resident, lovebug/ambassador at Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland. Chase spends some cuddling time with Mr. Stripey this weekend. Critteraid has more than 20 cats and kittens up for adoption. (Monique Tamminga)

LETTER: It’s time Penticton vets provide emergency, after-hours care to our pets

The nearest 24/7 animal hospital is in Kelowna, which is unacceptable

Editor

Back in late 2003, my precious cat had an episode at 1 a.m. At that time, there was an emergency number and we called and were met at the veterinary clinic, now known as the SPCA veterinary clinic on Main Street, by an on-call veterinary. The little guy’s heart had a serious episode and had to be put down.

Later, our next precious cat developed diabetes. For the next two years, we administered faithfully the two doses daily of insulin, did the home blood sugar tests, had the special dietary canned and dry food for him. It gave him an additional two years of life before, one morning it became apparent that it was “time” – I won’t go into the details of what happened but there was suddenly a serious consequence that could not be ignored.

We were lucky, it was a Thursday morning – not a weekend or “after hours”, because now, the veterinaries were on, what used to be known as “banker’s hours”. No weekends, no 24/7 service anymore in Penticton. We could put the little guy to rest that day.

Now, I wish to adopt another furball, but I am in fear of the lack of compassion of our local 15 veterinaries who have no plan to provide a 24/7 plan for a call-out program for pets.

Recently, a friend’s cat had an apparent stroke on Christmas Day. When she called her veterinary office she received a message that they would not be open until Jan. 4!

So, the problem is not just after hours and weekends, it includes week closures over the Christmas break.

When you choose a profession, you must consider the job hours.

Our nurses choose their profession and know that they may have to work night shifts, weekends, etc. Same with doctors, bus drivers, grocery store workers, police, fire fighters, etc., etc.

C’mon Penticton and area veterinarians, get together, make a plan to service our pets 24/7, of course, on a rotation basis, and get this nightmare over with for South Okanagan pet owners.

Thanks for listening.

Helen Vallee,

Penticton

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