In 2021 the College of Veterinarians of Ontario received 40 per cent more complaints than the previous year. Many clinics are experiencing severe staffing shortages resulting in some fatal situations for pets. Jan Robinson, chief executive officer for the College explained that the problem was present before COVID19, but the pandemic amplified the issues.
According to Robinson the years prior to the pandemic, “there were increasingly fewer veterinarians for the jobs that were available,… That then gets coupled with a real big upsurge during the pandemic of pet owners.” Access to vet care may be more difficult now as in “many areas of the province, veterinarians are not able to take on new clients.” Robinson said.
Bailey Gladwin and her dog Odie were affected by this shortage and unfortunately, the terrier mix did not make it. Gladwin said her dog started developing a cough, it eventually worsened so she took the Odie to the Emergency Vet Clinic of Waterloo Region. The clinic performed tests and realized he needed a ventilator, so they recommended taking him to the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph.
Gladwin then called the College and was told they cannot take him in as a patient. That same night Odie passed away, less than 24-hours from the time he was admitted.
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