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LETTER: A Doggone Disaster
Jennifer Goertzen for local2 sault ste. marie
September 7th, 2012 at 12:06am
On the evening of September 6, 2012, My mother’s dog was hit by a vehicle on Pine St. at the intersection of Pleasant (directly across from St. Paul’s Catholic Elementary School)
First let me state that the driver of said vehicle was not at fault, it is a very busy intersection and street, especially now that Pine St. extends all the way to 2nd line, and the dog had bolted out in the road. I wish to express a deep, heartfelt thank you to the driver and all of the people who stopped to offer help by using their cell phones to call veterinary offices, sitting with the dog and consoling my Mother.
My concern is with the emergency veterinary services in the city of Sault Ste Marie. The procedure, as we now know, is that any emergency call is first routed through the Humane Society. The woman from the Humane Society promptly arrived on the scene and was very comforting and helpful, and would have driven the dog to a vet herself if she wasn’t the only person on call at the Humane Society that evening. Apparently, and to my family’s surprise, there is only one emergency/after hours vet each night in the city. All of the local vets pool together and rotate the “on call” duties. I will not “name names”, in order to keep this letter respectful – however the particular vet that was on call this night was not available.
My brother phoned the emergency number twice, only to be told the first time that the vet would be paged, and the second time that he would be paged again. Losing patience, as the dog was seriously injured, he demanded the vet’s cell and home phone number. He phoned both – only to no avail – the home phone was not answered and the cell phone went straight to voicemail and the message was not returned after 40 minutes of waiting! At the end of our options, and with a dog in obvious physical stress (open, bleeding wounds) my family contacted a vet in Sault Michigan who stayed open late and took the dog in for surgery right away. Thanks to the International Bridge customs officers for their cooperation in helping my Mom and my sister in law cross the bridge without delay.
This is a disgrace to the vet services of Sault Ste. Marie! Do vets not take an oath when they become licensed? To assist all animals in need? This service need to be rectified so that other pets and their owners do not have to endure such an ordeal, especially when they are already experiencing an emergency situation with a sick or injured pet! Please talk to your vet about the emergency services that are available and how we can improve the system in this city!
On another note: the extension of Pine Street has greatly increased the amount and speed of traffic traveling this stretch of road. This is a residential area that has a school with young children crossing the street daily. It takes anywhere from 10-20 minutes to cross the street – usually because a driver will finally stop in the middle of
the road and let pedestrians cross. Traffic lights need to be installed at this intersection; it has always been a very busy street and now even more so with the extension to 2nd Line. It is a tragedy that a pet was stricken by a vehicle; however a child would have been
Frustrated and Furious
P.S. – after traveling to the veterinarian in Sault Michigan, admitting the dog for emergency surgery, and returning back home, the veterinarian from Sault Ontario had sill not returned the phone message…DEPLORABLE!