By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — Pet owners are seeing longer lines at the vet clinic as animal adoptions increased during the coronavirus pandemic. The MSPCA says emergency vet visits have gone up 40% at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, and they’re predicting a massive increase of 10,000 new cases this year.

Kiko Bracker, director of emergency and critical care at the MSPCA, tells WBZ-TV that “inexperienced pet owners” are a factor.

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“I think it some of it is inexperience,” he said. “Just like having a child, every little problem seems like it’s a big emergency and you don’t really have the history or experience to know what’s an emergency and what’s not.”

Bracker said Boston is lucky to have a lot of options for veterinary care, but the surge is being seen around the country. A staffing shortage of nurses only makes the problem worse.

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“Most areas are feeling a real pinch on having qualified emergency veterinarians working for them,” he said. “It’s hard. . . there’s not a great alternative solution other than, unfortunately, waiting.”

The hope is that some of those “first year jitters of pet ownership” will subside and vet visits may start to drop, Bracker said.

“The rate of pet adoption is probably going to slow as people go back to work,” he said. “But those pets are out there, people own them, they’re not going away and they are going to continue to need veterinary care.”

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