Pet wellness clinic offering services to address needs

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The Berkshire Humane Society is running a pet clinic at the site of the former Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital to help address industry-wide issues.

As many Berkshire pet owners are having a hard time making appointments, the phone is ringing off the hook at the new clinic.

What You Need To Know

  • The Berkshire Humane Society is running a newly opened pet wellness clinic under a year-long lease at the site of the former Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital in Pittsfield
  • Comprehensive health exams, vaccines and parasite monitoring and control services are offered by appointment only. Pet owners can call (413) 203-4330
  • BHS consulted local veterinarians before proposing the wellness clinic initiative to see what the needs of the community were
  • The Allen Heights Veterinary Services closed in July of 2022

“I called and maybe about less than a week and a half later, I was already ready to come in here,” pet owner Chris Beattie said. “All the other places said, ‘We can’t even book you for nothing because we ‘re full,’ and just, that’s the way it was with every one of them.”

In addition to helping pet owners, manager Kristin McCormick said the new clinic addresses the high demand for pet care many areas are facing.

“We’re only doing wellness and vaccines,” McCormick said. “There are cases that may need an ear infection, they may need some antibiotics or some ear wash. Usually, it’s a good idea to have them seen at least once a year, keep those vaccines current, just like humans.”

Dr. Yoanna Maitre said the site at the former Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital has room to expand the lost-cost services they offer.

“It is important to have the staff that can actually see these patients,” Maitre said. “Just because there’s a need doesn’t mean that you have somebody who’s able to do it. So, I think we’re currently starting sort of small, just one or two days a week, but we’d like to continue to expand from there.”

Staffing continues to be a nationwide issue for many pet clinics and hospitals who are having to turn patients away.

“Unfortunately, with the influx of animals that have been adopted through COVID, which is great for adoptions, but yes, the vets are discouraged with clients,” McCormick said.

“As far as a shortage, it is becoming more apparent, especially in more rural areas,” Maitre said. “Uniquely, I think in the Berkshires there have been some veterinarians passed away and some have relocated, and some have just reached retirement age . So, I think it’s more acute here.”

While they work to place clients in full-service veterinary hospitals as spaces open up, the Berkshire Humane Society says the new clinic helps fulfill their mission of keeping pets happy and healthy.

“People have been extremely grateful that we’ve opened this and that we are offering this to the public,” McCormick said.

“I think that it’s going to really show to be a good thing for the community,” Maitre said.

The Berkshire Humane Society said they’re currently in the works to build a residency rotational program through the clinic with the long-term goal of recruiting more veterinarians to live and work in the area.

By hadem