Emergency Vet Needed

After dark, at about 6:00 p.m. on November 3rd, my husband, myself, and our passenger were headed south on Richmond Rd. and making a turn onto Upjohn. As my husband made the righthand turn onto Upjohn, our passenger said, “Wow, did you see that woman kneeling in the street next to a dog?” My husband and I had not seen her due to the oncoming headlights of another vehicle headed north on Richmond Road from Bowman Road. We immediately made a U-turn. As we approached the hysterical woman, she was screaming, “help me…please somebody help me”!! The car that had been headed north on Richmond, when we made our turn onto Upjohn, had gone around the woman and the dog, and proceeded on. My husband pulled our vehicle around and across the road turning our hazard lights on sheltering the woman and dog. The woman asked, “Can you stay with my dog, while I go to get my car.” After she left to get her car, the badly injured dog attempted to rise and follow its owner; my husband quickly got out of our car and gently calmed the dog.

The woman returned with her car within moments with another woman who was trying to comfort her. They picked up the badly injured dog…then what?! Ridgecrest has no after-hours emergency vet service! My heart was breaking for that visibly tormented woman who could not stop crying; she was in such anguish. I still get tearful whenever I pass that location.

We have lived in Ridgecrest for over 50 years and have always had cats and dogs. We were so blessed for many years to have Dr. Novak who would meet you at his office at midnight. Yes, of course there was an extra charge for that service which we gladly paid to alleviate the pain and suffering of our pets. There are thousands of pets in Ridgecrest. To be told that we have to drive 90 miles to get help for a seriously ill or injured pet is heartbreaking!! I personally know of two people who had their pets die in the car on the way to get medical help. That is unforgivable!!

I called Mary Stage at the animal shelter and she said that they do have a vet lined up that wants to work afternoons and after hours but he cannot find a building that he can afford. He needs about 2000 square feet, but everything he has looked at is in such poor condition that he cannot afford to fix it up. When I called VCA (Crestwood), the lady I talked to said they had been looking for a vet for a year and a half but no one seems to want to move here. It is so sad that people don’t realize what a wonderful place Ridgecrest is. It is too bad that the vet that the animal shelter is attempting to line up couldn’t join with a local veterinarian hospital. Ridgecrest, Inyokern, and Trona residents need immediate help with this problem.

It took a child to get our community a dog park. What is it going to take to get our community an after-hours emergency veterinarian?

Suzanne Seibel

Story First Published: 2020-12-10