Covid19-Related Longer Call Wait Times

Why Your Call Wait Time May Be Longer – Our Apologies and an Explanation

Dear Hawthorne Family,

At Hawthorne Animal Hospital, we strive to provide pets with high-quality care that fits your busy schedule through 24-hour emergency services, late-night appointments and weekend hours.

The moment COVID-19 hit, the convenience our clients have always counted on was put on hold.

If you’ve recently experienced long call wait times or slow responses from our veterinarians, we sincerely apologize and ask for your patience. COVID-19 has increased demand on our industry in ways we never imagined, and Hawthorne—as well as every other vet clinic in the area—isn’t immune from the fallout. Since March, our call volume has increased by 50%, and our emergency cases have more than doubled.

We understand you’re frustrated and want to explain the “why’s” behind your long wait:

  • More critically ill patients are coming through our doors. As the only 24-hour animal hospital and trauma center in the Metro East, Hawthorne is at the frontline of crisis care. Because other vet clinics are also experiencing increased demands for care, many are referring their most critical patients to Hawthorne. When a life-or-death call comes in, it takes priority over routine appointment calls.
  • Summer is our busy season. In the summer months, pets spend more time outdoors, increasing their risk of bites, injuries and allergies. In turn, calls to Hawthorne spike from May through September. Our team is working as hard as possible to get your pet in for an appointment the moment one is available.
  • We’re experiencing an influx of new patients. One of the most beautiful responses to the pandemic has been the willingness of local residents to open their homes to a furry new family member. As excited as we are to welcome your pet to Hawthorne, please understand it may be a few weeks before we can see your dog or cat for their first wellness visit.

Please continue to bear with us as we’re doing our best to care for each and every pet, and be assured we’re answering your calls as quickly as we can. If you have a non-emergency, you can also try our Sit.Stay.Heal triage-by-text service at 618-280-2286, which runs every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

As the need for care continues to grow, so does our team. We’re excited to welcome three new veterinarians to Hawthorne—Drs. Morgan Stoddard, Kurt Hubbard and Elizabeth Jonas—who will deliver the superior care you’ve come to expect from us over the years.

Thank you again for your understanding and patience. We wish you and your family all the best as we make our way through this pandemic together.

Dr. Paul Myer
Chief of Staff