Vet Clinics calling for help amidst shortages

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 4:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2022 at 5:28 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Finding some help for your furry friend might be harder than usual, as veterinary clinics around the area are struggling to keep up with the high demand.

In 43 years of experience, Dr. Jim Guntharp has never been this understaffed as he remembers a time when applications would flood his desk.

“I remember a time where I would actually reject a lot of applying veterinarians because they did not meet my standards,” said Guntharp. “Now I would take almost anything or anyone that could wear a white coat.”

Guntharp is the owner of Jonesboro Family Pet Hospital and said he doesn’t have enough veterinary technologists and can not find the right dog foods, leaving him in a bind.

Not having enough vet techs is a scheduling issue but Guntharp said the supply shortage is more extreme.

Owners are having hard times finding foods to battle their pet’s different skin, heart, or even kidney problems.

“There’s probably about 15-20 of those foods that we just can’t get right now,” said Guntharp. “It’s at all due to manufacture back order, they just can’t make them.”

The staffing shortages along with lack of supplies all started in 2020 Guntharp says, and the industry still hasn’t recovered.

“It began around with covid a lot of people got new pets that never had pets before and people got stimulus money and they are willing to spend more money and bring them in when the normally would not have done it,” said Guntharp.

Jonesboro Family Pet Hospital has about a month waitlist for a checkup and even a little more for surgery unfortunately, there’s no end in sight.

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