Rochester, New York – Monroe County leaders announced a pivotal funding plan this Wednesday for a new around-the-clock veterinary service. This announcement marks a turning point in local animal care, addressing the urgent need for 24/7 veterinary services that the region has faced since early 2022.
The initiative involves a $100,000 funding plan dedicated to equipping the new nonprofit Rochester Emergency Veterinary Services. This facility will be housed in the existing Animal Hospital of Rochester located on University Avenue. The funding, crucial for kickstarting the operations, will primarily be used for purchasing the necessary equipment.
This development comes as a response to the closure of the area’s only 24/7 emergency veterinary facility, Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Services on White Spruce Boulevard. The facility had reduced its hours in January 2022 and eventually closed last month. This closure was part of a larger trend influenced by a nationwide shortage of veterinarians, a situation exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Congressman Joe Morelle and Monroe County Executive Adam Bello played instrumental roles in securing this startup funding. The funds were obtained through the County of Monroe Industrial Development Association (COMIDA), a vital move to ensure the continuity of emergency veterinary care in the region.
Despite this significant funding, Dr. Bruce Ingersoll, one of the leading veterinarians behind this new facility, indicated that an additional $75,000 is required for the facility to commence operations. Dr. Ingersoll acknowledged the financial challenges but remained optimistic, highlighting the community’s support and the importance of the facility’s mission.
Morelle expressed his commitment to finding additional funds and emphasized the critical nature of 24-hour veterinary service as a quality of life issue. His comments underscored the emotional and practical significance of timely and accessible care for pets, which are often considered integral members of families.
For nearly two years, pet owners in the Rochester area have faced the dilemma of traveling to Buffalo, Syracuse, or Ithaca for after-hours pet care. This lack of local emergency services has not only been inconvenient but also stressful for pet owners dealing with emergencies.
Monroe County Executive Adam Bello reflected on the importance of the facility, stressing the need for local, quality care for pets regardless of the time of day. Bello also highlighted the broader implications of this initiative, including its role in workforce development. The opening of this facility is poised to contribute significantly to retaining veterinary staff in the region, providing training, and nurturing future veterinary professionals.
The new Rochester Emergency Veterinary Services is expected to open its doors on February 1, 2024. This launch is not just a win for pet owners but also a step forward in enhancing the veterinary infrastructure and care in the Rochester area. With this development, Monroe County is set to offer its residents and their pets the quality and timely care they deserve, marking a new era in community-focused animal healthcare.