KSNF — The pandemic has had a negative impact on a lot of industries.

You can add animal hospitals to that list. That, in turn, has impacted the doctors who take care of our beloved pets.

After being in continuous business since 1952, Main Street Pet Care shut down a few weeks ago in Joplin, leaving pet owners scrambling to find a new vet for their animals.

VCA operated the clinic at the time of the closure, and a spokesperson says there is a veterinary talent shortage.

Although she’s not retiring any time soon, Dr. Monica Bentley, of Midway Hospital in Neosho, says she understands why some doctors are leaving their practices.

“You have a high stress work environment with not a lot of give and take between work life and family life, and so I think a lot of people are going for other professions that will allow you more family life,” said Bentley.

And no surprise, she says the pandemic is partly to blame.

“I think people adopted a lot of pets during the pandemic and now they need veterinary care for them so our workload has increased which adds to the stress and everything veterinarians are feeling now a days.”

She says some of her colleagues will be retiring in the next 10 to 15 years, adding to the problem. And if your community no longer has emergency animal care, or existing veterinarians are not seeing new customers, there’s a reason why.

“The veterinarians that are in regular practice are trying not to do emergency because they want a family life as well as a work life and so I think that is also a shortage area is that we’re having problems with emergency after-hours care that people aren’t just able to find because of the shortage,” said Bentley.