PUEBLO — According to the Veterinary Care Accessibility Program, there is a nationwide shortage of doctors, veterinary assistants, and veterinary technicians. In Pueblo, the problem is even worse.
They say that for every 1000 households, there are 0.83 veterinarians in Pueblo County. For comparison, there are 3.28 veterinarians per 1000 households in El Paso County.
"It's a desperate time. I've never seen a situation like this before," said Pueblo veterinarian Dr. Richard Goode. "We've been trying to hire an associate veterinarian for over 3 years".
To help combat the problem, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region has been working with Pueblo Community College to offer a 1-year Veterinarians Assistant course to students.
"What would happen is we think this would be a great way for people to start a career path in medicine," said President and CEO of HSPPR Duane Adams.
Adams and his team at HSPPR have been in talks with PCC for over a year to figure out a way to get this program ready. They've presented ideas in front of the Pueblo City Council and the Pueblo County Commissioners looking for funding.
"Well, anything to help fill the need," says Dr. Goode. "The more people we can get in the profession, young people, committed to the profession long term".
Goode hopes this program could be a long-term solution to the problem his community faces.
Pueblo Community College could potentially start teaching students in the Fall of 2023 or the Spring of 2024.
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