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One month after the grand opening, Rochester emergency veterinarians providing lifesaving care



Rochester, New York – Just over a month has passed since the sole emergency veterinarian in the area that provides overnight care opened in Rochester, and many pet owners in the area are already seeing significant improvements as a result of the clinic.

There hasn’t been a shortage of work for the veterinarians at Rochester Emergency Veterinary Services (REVS) on University Avenue, who assist pets from all over the region with life-saving care or procedures daily.

Since opening in February, the new emergency veterinarian’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing, according to co-founder Dr. Brenda Buck.

“It’s been insane,” Dr. Buck said. “It has been a wild ride in that one month. We were busy from the very first day. We saw 111 patients on our first weekend.”

Dr. Buck reports that her staff has helped pet owners with a range of issues, such as dogs and cats that have been involved in collisions with vehicles.

“We’ve seen everything from ‘blocked’ cats, to foreign-body airway obstructions, to dystocias, where dogs can’t have their puppies and we have to resuscitate the puppies after getting them out,” she explained.

For some, the clinic has saved their lives. One such person is Mark Patrick, whose dog Ella ingested an unidentified abrasive substance.

“She didn’t look well. She didn’t look energetic,” Patrick said. “You looked in her eyes and she looked like she was in a bit of pain.”

Ella ultimately began to spew up blood since she was unable to keep any food down. Mark was then instructed to take her right away to an emergency veterinarian, where she underwent surgery.

“(She’s) back to mostly being her punky and spunky self,” Patrick said. “The fact that you have some place to go and that you’re not staying up overnight wondering ‘Is my dog going to be OK?’ She probably would not have made it overnight if I didn’t have some place to take her.”

Recently converted to a nonprofit, the veterinarian is requesting further contributions from the public to increase its capacity to treat animals such as Ella.

“We are currently actively looking for a standalone site for REVS that has a bigger footprint than this,” Dr. Buck explained. “We’re limited on how much we can see. On the weekends, every single one of these cages are full with animals. We even have them in our ultrasound room with a baby gate. We bring in crates and we have other areas in the hospital that have cages, but we just don’t have space. We only have two treatment tables.”

On weekdays, Rochester Emergency Veterinary Services is open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., and on weekends, it is open 24 hours a day. Customers who want to view their pet can stroll right in.

“It’s not first come, first served. It’s critical wins,” Dr. Buck added. “So, the more desperate the pet is, the more in need it is, those are the pets we’re going to see first. Admittedly, we do have some long wait times because we only have one doctor on per shift. So, if your pet’s stable, it may be a really long wait.”

She also believes that within the next two months, REVS should have a fully staffed team.