A point of pride for Watertown Animal Hospital veterinarians and staff has been the ability to provide convenient, 24/7 urgent care options for pet parents in our community since the clinic’s inception in 1970. Over the years, we have helped hundreds of sick and injured animals who otherwise would have gone without the care they needed due to the distance and costs of traditional emergency centers.
Unsurprisingly, the continuation of such a program requires a steady supply of resources–the most important being a large team of veterinarians and licensed technicians who work together, alternate shifts and share the large volume of calls that come through on a daily basis. Without appropriate staffing, the physical and mental strain of working 24 hours continuously for multiple days a week quickly deteriorates the quality of life of our veterinary professionals, which in turn negatively affects and restricts the quality of care we can provide our clients. These issues have similarly plagued our neighboring clinics, causing them over time to be forced to remove themselves from the shared rotation. It is due to this extreme reduction in staffing, and other factors out of our control, that we are forced to make some difficult decisions.
It is with great regret that we announce, effective November 8, 2022, the small animal on-call emergency rotation of the Watertown area clinics will cease all operations. A telephone triage service, GuardianVets, will still be available to field any after-hours calls, assist with pet emergencies, and direct our clients to the closest 24-hour care facility. Our large animal on-call services are still available, this has not changed. Please refer to the list below of emergency centers in the region that may be contacted for all urgent care needs outside of our normal business hours:
Veterinary Medical Center of Central NY (VMC), Syracuse, NY // Phone #: 315-446-7933
Urgent Veterinary Care, Auburn, NY // Phone #: 315-515-3074
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY // Phone #: 607-253-3060
Alta Vista Animal Hospital, Gloucester, Ontario // Phone #: 613-731-6851
Capital District Veterinary Referral Hospital, Latham, NY // Phone #: 518-785-1094