During the pandemic we’ve all been overwhelmed with trends and numbers – so. many. numbers. - but here’s a few more we thought you’d find interesting: Since 2018, the number of animals reported to be living in homes across the country has been on the rise. Data from Best Friends shows us that there are 11% more dogs owned now than in 2018 and 4% more cats. And while we are all thrilled to see more animals going into more homes, these increases come with challenges not only to shelters and animal welfare organizations, but also to our country’s overtaxed veterinary services. Was the world of veterinary medicine ready for such a huge increase in demand?
The short answer is: not really. For years, the number of veterinarians in the United States has been dropping, putting even more pressure on those who are still practicing by limiting their availability to see new patients. Combine that with a huge influx of new pets in need of their services because of the increase in animal acquisition and you’ve got a nation-wide challenge with no clear-cut answer.
The results of this trend have made it to our doorstep as well. LHS is seeing more animals come to us with untreated medical conditions that have compounded with time. Recently, Carl Sagan came into the shelter with such drastic dental problems that he had to have all but two of his teeth removed. His unfortunate condition was a direct result of the absence of timely medical intervention. As a result, he’s now living life as a canine, without canines
Our friend Carl is only one example. And as there isn’t any sign of this trend slowing down, especially as we all inch back toward lives that are less impacted by the pandemic, LHS is responding to these changing needs by equipping our facility with new innovative options to serve our communities.
The ongoing expansion of our campus is designed to increase the capacity of our vet medical program in order to serve additional shelter and public animals in need. These small but mighty new expansions, which are quickly nearing completion, will add new medical space, critical care space for dogs, and expanded surgical and wellness services right on-site – increasing our capacity to help and making a demonstrable difference for animals in our community.
If you’d like to support these ongoing expansion efforts, you can make a tax-deductible donation right on our website. We will continue to update our social media feeds with the construction’s progress so you can watch us grow!
A version of this article appeared in LHS' newsletter The Dispatch. Click here to sign-up to receive The Dispatch.