Charleston Animal Society recruits vets from across the country amid statewide shortage

Charleston County News
Katarzyna Ferry, Wendy

Dr. Katarzyna Ferry, left, looks over at dog named Wendy who is being treated for a flare-up of Addison’s disease, Monday, April 12, 2021, at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of Palm Beach Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Forced to stay at home due to the pandemic, Americans adopted nearly 12 million pets last year meaning the average vet clinic saw nearly 400 new patients last year. Veterinarian offices across the country are experiencing unprecedented demand, adding extra staff and extending hours to fill in the gaps. “We are still short staffed despite active seeking of additional staff,” said Ferry. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Animal Society has recruited veterinarians from across the country to participate in a statewide spay and neuter project as South Carolina’s population of stray animals continues to exceed the supply of veterinarians.

According to Charleston Animal Society, 49 out of 75 shelters in South Carolina do not have veterinarians on staff.

Dr. Boyd Parr, state veterinarian, said that South Carolina ranks 46 out of 50 in the number of veterinarians per thousand people.

In addition to the inability to provide basic medical care to animals in the shelters, the shortage of veterinarians exacerbates the problem of overcrowding in shelters, as state law requires animals be spayed or neutered before they are put up for adoption.

To mitigate the problem, Charleston Animal Society has recruited veterinarians from all over the country to participate in a week-long spay and neuter event.

The event yielded over 100 spays and neuters in the upstate during its first days. From Wednesday through Saturday, the team will be in the Lowcountry and is expected to perform 100 spays and neuters for animals in the care of Berkeley Animal Center.

Organizers said that they are already planning another event, expected to take place in December.

Veterinarians who are interested in participating can click here for more information.

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