SPRINGFIELD — While some area veterinary care providers continue to limit services or make plans to permanently close due to the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a nationwide shortage of veterinarians, Second Chance Animal Services continues to serve pets in the Springfield community and, in fact, will be welcoming additional veterinarians to the hospital this summer, expanding capacity to see more patients. The hospital is currently looking for qualified veterinary technicians to join the staff.
Second Chance remained open throughout the stay-at-home restrictions, providing essential care to the many pets who needed urgent and emergency care. From the onset, the Springfield hospital was seeing twice its normal caseload, and that volume has continued, according to hospital Director Julie Sullivan. “Every day, pet owners thank us for being here for their pets and for Springfield.”
Sullivan said the hospital is once again booking wellness appointments, and the low-cost spay/neuter program has resumed. It expects to begin providing vaccine clinics in July with modifications to ensure social distancing. Pet owners who need to update their pet’s rabies or distemper/parvo vaccines are encouraged to watch the nonprofit’s website or Facebook page for an announcement on registering for upcoming vaccine clinics.
Second Chance first came to Springfield in early 2014 with community vaccine clinics to help combat parvo, and opened its first veterinary hospital in Springfield in early 2015. In 2018, they moved to the current Mulberry Street location, opening the Springfield Community Veterinary Hospital to expand services for area pet owners.
Second Chance veterinary hospitals are open to all and offer subsidized rates for qualified households. Those that qualify can receive veterinary care at a reduced cost. Those that do not qualify pay the regular rate and help support all the programs offered by Second Chance that help pets in need. In addition to an adoption center, Second Chance operates three full-service vet hospitals to help end the cycle of pet homelessness by keeping pets in their homes through access to veterinary care.