To the editor: Recently, friends of mine experienced something no pet owner should ever have to go through.

On July 4 at 10 a.m., while playing ball with their beloved dog, their dog became injured. It was very apparent that dog's leg was broken. His panic-stricken parents immediately called their veterinary hospital, only to be told the veterinary hospital is closed and they would need to bring their dog elsewhere. They were given a few options out of our local area. When they called these unfamiliar clinics, they were told there would be a six-hour wait after they arrived.

In complete panic and disbelief of what they were being told, they tried every other vet in our area, only to be told the same thing. Now with tears pouring down their faces hovering over their pet trying to figure out how they are going to transport him, a neighbor just happened to be passing by. After explaining the situation, he immediately called his veterinarian in Hinsdale. This veterinarian was also not open for business but told my friends he would go in for this emergency. I am happy to report their pet’s surgery went well and the dog is now home for his recovery.

I just can’t get this out of my head. Could this happen to me if something happened to my baby after regular business hours?

I made some calls to find out what the after-hours policies of these veterinary hospitals are; I was told the very same thing. I am not bashing these veterinarians, I love mine. They have always been wonderful to me and my babies, but I have never had a situation after hours like this. I can’t even begin to image going through what my friends just experienced.

Is there a legal obligation to provide an emergency services for our animals in the community? If not, are they able to form a board among themselves that ensures at least one of the hospitals is open for emergencies after regular working hours? Does the city need to solicit veterinarians to the area? I don’t know what the answer is, but I would like to see some feedback with suggestions. Again, I didn’t write this to bash our current veterinarians; I wrote it because I am petrified that I might find myself in this situation someday with one of my babies. 

Judy Toomey, Pittsfield