FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Across the nation, the demand for veterinarians has increased throughout the pandemic.
Valley Animal Center started experiencing this too, with many people adopting pets.
"It was great to see our adoption rates go up and new pets and all of that - it was a happy time," said executive director Rob Piccolo. "Of course, with the new pet ownership comes the need for more services, more veterinarian services."
The demand for animal care in Fresno County quickly became apparent to staff.
"It was not uncommon for us to book our spay and neuters, and one day we would open up the phone lines and about 15 minutes later the whole month was booked," Piccolo recalled.
There was a backlog of services at Valley Animal's clinic, because it only had one full-time and one part-time vet.
However, the backlog is now starting to ease up after the clinic brought on two new full-time vets -- for a total of three.
They're also continuing to recruit vet technicians. Currently, the clinic has three.
"We'll bring them in a little. We'll allow them to do their internship here. Then oftentimes, we'll hire those people from their internship," said Piccolo.
According to the executive director, the clinic is still getting booked, as it works through the backlog.
"Our spays and neuters are already full, all the way through the rest of this year," he said. "So all the way through December 31."
Piccolo recommends pet owners plan vaccinations and annual check-ups months in advance.
"It really takes thinking of your pet as your child, right? You know when your kid needs to go see a dentist -- planning that out and being at least a couple of months out for something like that," he said.