Several weeks ago in this community column, another coastal resident wrote about her experience trying to get life-saving veterinary care for her critically injured dog. None were available to him and his dog succumbed to his injuries.
Since that time, it has been very difficult for me to forget this situation, as it occurred to me that the veterinary care offered to our community here on the coast is lacking at best. Yes, the pandemic has stifled many services offered by all types of businesses and that’s understandable and as a community we are all doing our best to overcome these limitations, community members and businesses alike. However, there is a limitation that is unrelated to the pandemic that residents of the coast are forced to endure and which is not understandable, reasonable and now, more acceptable. There are no reasonable and viable emergency veterinary care services outside of the hours of operation available to pet owners on the coast, which were available decades before the pandemic. Coastal vets now refer out-of-hours emergencies to veterinary clinics in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Rohnert Park, which 99% of us on the coast are more than two hours away.
So what does this leave us? A growing number of us on the coast must endure the pain of seeing our pets – our companions, whom we have grown to love, who have shown us nothing less than their unconditional love – suffer and / or die needlessly. . How many of you have endured this heartache? How many of you are living with the psychological and emotional pain of feeling that you should have done more?
And so, to that end, I would like to take a small and first step to begin the process of redressing the terrible harm that has been done to all of us here on the coast. In the coming weeks, I will initiate and pursue a petition which, when completed, will be presented to Fort Bragg City Council, demanding that they require that any veterinary company seeking a new or renewed veterinary license in the town of Fort Bragg provide , as a condition of this license, the provision of reasonable and viable emergency veterinary care after hours, evenings, weekends and holidays for pets in this community. This is not an unreasonable request, as it had always been offered in the past, at least since I moved here in 1986.
I ask that you take just a minute to think about your community – the elderly, low income, residents with transportation challenges, who have no choice but to watch their pets suffer. and / or die. They are helpless. We are powerless to save our pets when their injuries / illnesses present themselves after the various veterinary staff in the community have returned home. I would like to note that the various veterinary websites certainly do not represent their services to be what, in reality, exists today. In fact, they represented quite the opposite when they sought to establish their practices here.
So I ask interested community members on the coast, from Westport to Albion, to give their opinion. Let me know your thoughts on the importance you place in obtaining services of this kind. You can send your comments through this forum or by email to [email protected]
I just cannot understand how this type of (lower) veterinary standard is acceptable to the Town of Fort Bragg, which in the past has always viewed the interests and needs of its community as paramount.
âRomarin Mangino, Fort Bragg.