MIDLAND, Texas — Veterinarians are hard to come by all over, and especially right here in Midland. As the City’s animal services continue their search for a permanent veterinarian.
“We have to ensure it’s a good fit for our community, but just trying to find that veterinarian, because it’s probably gonna be somebody from outside that’s gonna come in here and understand everything that comes with our community, so it’s more than just a simple hire,” said Morris Williams Jr., deputy city manager of Midland.
However, to help with the hiring process, animal services has received a $12,000 grant from the Best Friends Animal Society.
“We could put money out for marketing to get that vet here, or it may come as a salary incentive, or just to take care of our services while we find that vet,” said Williams.
One local nonprofit who knows all too well about this vet shortage is Fix West Texas, who now has six specialists who have all come to work from outside of the Permian Basin, from Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia and other cities.
“We definitely have a lack of veterinarians, not only nationwide, but Texas-wide, and specifically here in west Texas,” said Karen Patterson, executive director of Fix West Texas. “So a lot of our local veterinarian clinics run similar to us, where they use what they call relief vets who fly in or drive in to do two to four days worth of work.”
The shortage can mean more work for those employees who are around.
“A lot of the traditional veterinarian clinics are overwhelmed because they don’t have enough vets, and these vets are expected to work 12 hour days,” said Patterson.
As the city continues trying to fill their veterinarian position, they hope to find the right fit for here.
“Just like anything throughout the entire city, trying to find people and trying to find a position like this, a high level position, trying to get people, because it may be somebody outside the area, trying to get them in, we’re used to it but it has been a challenge,” said Williams.