A new 24/7 emergency veterinarian hospital called Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG) will open on September 14 in SouthPark.
VEG is a New York-based veterinary hospital with 32 locations across 11 states. Local vet and VEG medical director, Ashley Gray, brought the brand to Charlotte.
Why it matters: There’s a shortage of veterinarians nationwide, and area animal hospitals are spread thin.
- Hospitals and clinics around the country have been turning animals away because they’re short staffed, as the Atlantic recently reported.
“Our industry has a lot of difficulties right now,” Gray says, listing staff shortages, burnout and compassion fatigue as some of the main reasons why people are leaving the industry. “There just aren’t enough veterinarians and vet techs to go around,” she adds.
- VEG in Charlotte will include both local veterinarians and some who are moving here, including some internal transfers, Gray says.
Flashback: About two years ago, Gray, who had worked in Charlotte-area veterinary hospitals for eight years, wasn’t sure what her next step would be. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to own my own practice or completely change gears,” she says.
- After a friend told her about VEG, she interviewed them and pitched a Charlotte location. “Charlotte wasn’t in their immediate sights,” she says, but as they researched more about Charlotte, its rapid growth, and its pet population, local expansion became a no-brainer.
How it works: VEG is laid out in an open concept, meaning pet parents are allowed into the treatment area with their pets. The open-layout concept also makes it easier for staff to see more pets. “I can easily see 40 patients on a shift as 1 doctor,” Gray says.
- While in the treatment area, which is the largest area of the hospital, pet owners can watch the nurses and doctors do everything from performing surgery, placing IV catheters and drawing blood. “We believe in transparency,” Gray tells me.
- VEG will open with 10 doctors and 30 additional support staff.
- Of note: VEG is solely an emergency hospital, meaning they don’t perform vaccines or handle any sort of preventative care.
Details: VEG is located at 4716-A Sharon Rd, Suite A, near the Home Goods.
What’s next: VEG is opening an Asheville location at the end of September.