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Veterinarians, restaurants deal with new policies because of COVID-19

Staffing is an issue in both industries. Vets say you should book your appointments months in advance.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Both the restaurant and veterinary industries are dealing with new policies because of the pandemic.

Each of Western New York’s 65 animal hospitals have their own policies because of the pandemic, so make sure you ask about them before you go to your pet’s appointment.

Many still are curbside. Some are letting you back into the building for wellness visits and emergencies. 

The veterinarian 2 On Your Side talked with on Monday says there is unprecedented demand for veterinary care across the country.

There is a backlog from people who didn’t want to come in during COVID-19 with curbside-only care, there are people who got new pets, and he says people are more in tune with their pet’s health now because they’ve been spending more time at home. All of that means the demand for appointments is up.

“Pets are also getting out more and getting injured more. That’s part of it, too, because we’re spending more time with our pets,” says Dr. R. Reed Stevens. “And then finally, plan ahead. Plan your appointments ahead. Call you vet maybe even two months before you need an appointment to get a booking. Plan your meds ahead. Don’t wait for the last minute. We can not fill meds in the two hours we would normally love to fill them. Some vets are saying 24 to 48 hours to fill meds.”

Also, be aware that demand is up at the emergency vet as well.

And, just like with people, telemedicine is now popular for pets.

You may have also noticed some Western New York restaurants haven’t reopened yet and have signs on their doors saying they are hiring. It is a trend restaurants across the country are seeing.

Monday, we got some insight from an industry expert about how they are trying to hire people so they can reopen. 

The President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association says this is a problem across the country and stretches beyond the restaurant industry.

She adds that some places are cutting hours or just not doing lunch to keep staff from burning out. And, she says restaurant owners are having mixed luck at this point.

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“Some have been trying job fairs. Some have been having kind of referral payments to their existing staff if they refer somebody who hires on,” says Melissa Fleischut, NYS Restaurant Association president and CEO. “Signing bonuses for some depending on the position. Added benefits, increased wages, I mean, they’re trying everything they can to try and get a solution to this, but I haven’t seen any one silver bullet that’s really managed to work better than others.”

Some restaurants are hiring teens who just wrapped up their school year.

The Restaurant Association has a program for juniors and seniors in high school called the ProStart program. It focuses on culinary arts and management. If you are interested in learning more about it, there is also a job board that goes along with it showing jobs that are open across the state.