PORTLAND, Ore. — The New Road Ahead expansion project to the Oregon Humane Society officially opened on Thursday with a ribbon cutting celebration. The expansion will allow thousands of animals to get care amid a nationwide veterinary staff shortage.
The $40 million project broke ground back in March of 2021. And the new veterinary hospital already has a lot of demand.
Staff shortages throughout the veterinary community has had a huge effect on access to care, said Dr. Steve Kochis.
"We are experiencing some of the staffing shortages just like everywhere else," Kochis said. "Fortunately we are very well staffed with veterinarians. We are pretty well staffed with most of our support staff."
Kochis said the hospital has five full time veterinarians and four support staff for every veterinarian. The hospital is 14,000 square feet with ten exam rooms, a full dental suite, six surgery tables and ICU.
The project was mostly funded by donors, and also includes a behavior and rescue center that's dedicated to the rehabilitation of shelter animals and the Animal Crimes Forensic Center.
People who are low income will also be able to find care for their pets, according to Kochis.
"One of the main reasons we built this facility is to offer subsidized care for those people who are having trouble getting care because they are either struggling financially and there's plenty of people who are right on the border of poverty," said Kochis.
President and CEO Sharon Harmon said they hope the hospital can handle 60,000 patients a year.
"That's a huge addition to the veterinary care that's provided in our community," Harmon said.
The hospital would prefer people to make appointments, but they do accept walk-ins for emergencies. The hospital is open Sunday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.