Emergency vet services needed in Sussex

January 24, 2023

I draft a note looking for the support of animal care. Within six months of each event, my new adopted pet has been turned away from vets without concern for the pet. The latest event leads me to write with great concerns. It’s not about staffing.  

Most, if not all, vets were closed Jan. 2, as New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday.

My dog had a bite from another dog. It developed into a hematoma the size of a baseball.

My regular vet was closed, so I started look for anyone local to Lewes. I found one on Route 1 and called. I was greeted by a rep of the vet services. I explained the situation and that my vet was closed. I was advised there were no appointments available and that I should go to an emergency care place in Dover or Salisbury. I asked to be added to the cancellation list. They wouldn’t do that because I wasn’t a regular customer. I asked for an exception given it was a holiday for most places. No. 

I begin to question, “What about the dog?” I was told that if I’d rather not pursue the emergency places suggested, it’s on me, not them. I hit a dead end. 

I get frustrated and annoyed when I’m told I am the problem. No way. I want to get my pet cared for.  

The dog was adopted as a rescue in May and is a puppy. Puppies get into many things. In the summer, he got into a bad case of diarrhea.  

First-time vet appointments in this county are not days or weeks; they turn into months. The vet I chose could see him for first time in August. The bad case of diarrhea was July. I tried chicken and rice and bought FortiFlora over the counter without any luck. Tried my new vet and the first question was if the vet had seen him before. 

Sorry, but since they had not seen him yet, he had to go to animal emergency. Incredible that a vet I have an appointment with for a new adopted pet would say that to an owner. Eventually when I ask, “What about the health of the dog?” they say the only the way to do it there is to be seen as an emergency and they can see him the next day. I do it, but I wonder why it had to be forced upon them to budge. 

So two times I hit roadblocks with vets in Lewes and Georgetown. I can’t even imagine running into this a third time. The community should know holiday emergencies are going to occur, and what I encountered should be better managed. On Jan. 2, I had to drive 90 minutes away.  

I’ve mentioned this to my rescue company. They balked. I went to another rescue in Lewes and they basically said the same thing. “I feel your pain, but it’s not like we can do anything but support you in an endeavor to make sure change occurs.”

Health of a pet is most important. 

Michael English 


  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number and address for verification. Please keep letters to 500 words or fewer. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. Letters should be responsive to issues addressed in the Cape Gazette rather than content from other publications or media. Only one letter per author will be published every 30 days. Letters restating information and opinions already offered by the same author will not be used. Letters must focus on issues of general, local concern, not personalities or specific businesses.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter