Good Question: Will Rochester’s emergency animal hospital return to 24-hour service?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It’s been almost one year since Rochester’s only 24-hour emergency animal hospital reduced its hours. Will it return to 24-hour service?

As a dog mom herself, News10NBC’s Emily Putnam had to take her pup to the emergency vet late at night more than once. Thankfully, he turned out to be totally fine both times.

That was about two years ago, though. Now, if your pet gets sick overnight and they need emergency care, you’ll have a long drive ahead of you.

Pam wrote to us saying: “My question is when will Rochester finally get a 24/7 emergency vet? Veterinary Specialists of Rochester said closing at 10 p.m. was temporary. It is now going on a year and pet owners are frantic when their pets become ill after 10 p.m.”

This is a big problem for worried pet owners like Pam. Right now, if your pet gets sick late at night, the closest 24-hour options within 100 miles of Rochester are:

  • Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center in Buffalo
  • Veterinary Medical Center of Central New York in Syracuse
  • Cornell University Hospital for Animals in Ithaca

I spoke on the phone with a customer service rep at veterinary specialists and emergency services on White Spruce Boulevard here in Rochester. She told me that at this point, there are no plans to go back to 24 hours.

Back in January 2022, Veterinary Specialists of Rochester officials told us it reduced its hours because of staffing shortages and the growing demand for services. However, its website says it still provides “24-hour hospitalized care but currently are limited to receiving new patients during the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.”

The bottom line is it’s not clear if 24-hour emergency vet services will return to Rochester.

If you have an emergency with your pet in the middle of the night and you’re planning on driving to Buffalo, Syracuse, or Ithaca for care, you’re still going to want to call ahead to one of those 24-hour hospitals. It’s not guaranteed that they will be able to get you in.

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