Vet Nicky Chadwick with friends Scout and Rivva

Working in the veterinary profession is a very demanding job. But the pandemic has taken the pressure to a whole new level. A post on Facebook by the AnimalCare Vet Clinic in Havelock North highlighted just how tough it is for all who have made it their lifelong career. Nicky is co-owner, loved and revered by all – parents and pets alike – who are fortunate enough to have her guardianship. We felt her teams’ thoughts – which are a reflection of a situation every vet is facing – needed to be shared. 

“In our busiest season, with uncertain times ahead, we ask for your patience and kindness. 

Our team is currently under a lot of pressure. This is exacerbated by a nationwide veterinary staff shortage due to no vets coming into New Zealand. Pet ownership is also on the rise, so we have more patients to care for, but no extra veterinarians to ease the workload. Some days we find ourselves short-staffed for unavoidable reasons (including now having to have a Covid test at the first sign of any cold or flu symptoms).

It’s not uncommon to have a fully booked day and suddenly have to fit in an emergency surgery. We thank you all for your understanding when we call to reschedule your appointment. We know it is an inconvenience, but also that you would want us to do the same if your pet needed emergency care. 

Our vets and nurses always give 100% to their jobs and the patients they care for. This can often mean long hours without breaks and multiple visits to the clinic after hours. We genuinely care about you and your pets and we want to help in any way we can – we wouldn’t be in this profession if we didn’t. 

So, if your phone call goes to voice-mail the first time or we take awhile to phone you back, or if we are running a little late for your appointment, please know it is because we have had to prioritise a patient in need of urgent care, not because we don’t care about your needs.

Like many businesses, we are also facing product supply issues, but are happy to recommend suitable alternatives if your normal item is out of stock. 

Behind the scenes, the ever-changing Covid-19 situation has created an additional workload of formulating and updating clinic policies and procedures. As always, we will continue to follow the recommendations from The New Zealand Veterinary Council and The Ministry of Health to ensure the safety of our staff and clients. 

So, as we all navigate through day-to-day life wearing masks, sanitising and scanning QR codes, we want to remind everyone that patience and kindness can mean a lot. It can make a rough day a little easier, it can mean the difference between finishing a shift tired and in tears, or just tired. Your understanding is greatly appreciated, and it helps us to do what we do best – which is taking care of your cherished pets.”

Many thanks from the AnimalCare team

The Facebook post was written by vet nurse Kirsty Brewer.

Photo: Florence Charvin

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1 Comment

  1. Animal Care Vets and nurses are all amazing and just so compassionate! You are never rushed through an appointment, and if you have to wait a while to be seen, the wait is well worth it! I have been coming to Animal Care from Napier from day one! When I had to farewell my beautiful Heidi in January, Nicky was absolutely amazing, spending quality time with myself and Heidi. I felt for Nicky as Heidi was her 4th or 5th patient that Nicky had farewelled that day. It’s the hardest task a vet can do, and they just show so much compassion and love to the animal and it’s owner. Thank you so much Nicky and your wonderful team!

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