Animal Humane Society working through backlog of services

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Animal Humane Society officials say they are experiencing a major backlog in veterinary services. The COVID-19 pandemic is a big reason why.

"It’s just been a wild ride," said Angelica Dimock, AHS managing shelter veterinarian.

During the start of the pandemic, the state forced the Humane Society to stop all non-essential services.

"When we couldn’t do spay and neuter services we had a waiting list of over 1,500 animals when we reopened," Dimock said.

Dimock admits they’re still getting caught up.

"It gets so inundated that we have to stop, close the scheduler so that we can keep up with everything," Dimock said.

Plus, they’re understaffed because of the pandemic.

"We had to pick up the slack of not being super well-staffed," said Stephanie Fehring, an AHS vet tech.

The Humane Society is also working to maintain social distancing in tight spaces like exam rooms, and that too is limiting the amount of animals they can see every day.

"We have daily close contact logs that we have to fill out," Dimock said.

Fehring said all of this combined can be tough on morale.

"Trying to stay upbeat has been a challenge," Fehring said. "We try our best to make each other feel better."

But in a year where animal adoptions have increased, the need for affordable vet care is paramount. That’s what gives these clinics motivation.

"We’re doing the best that we can and we will fit you in when we fit you in," Dimock said.

Phone and email is the best way to book an opening, and if you already have one, you can always check the status of your appointment by giving them a call.

"It can’t hurt to ask," Dimock said.

While no one knows when things will get back to normal, these vet centers are still working to give pets the care they need.

AHS recently received a grant donation of $250,000 from PetSmart Charities. The money will be used to help increase access to affordable vet care at the new facility in St. Paul.

To learn more about the grant, visit the link here.