A win for pets: Gov. Hobbs signs veterinarian telemedicine bill into law

Arizona expands access to virtual veterinary care
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 7:30 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a pet telemedicine bill into law, letting pet owners get care virtually instead of going to the vet’s office.

The move comes as leaders in Arizona and across the country work to tackle the shortage of veterinarians.

A recent study shows there’s a need for as many as 5,000 veterinarians nationwide. Experts say if this trend continues 75 million pets will be without care by 2030.

It’s very similar to a person being seen by a doctor over Zoom or by a phone call but instead, it’ll be dogs, cats, etc. that are being seen.

All you need is a smartphone or computer to video chat.

With the ongoing vet shortage experts say it’s very hard for people to get an appointment in person, especially new pet owners. This is why the state is using telemedicine to help solve this problem.

This was actually put in place during the pandemic and it was successful, allowing more animals to be seen in a shorter amount of time.

Humane Society of Southern Arizona CEO Steve Farley said earlier access to vets through telemedicine means more opportunities for effective pet care.

”The veterinarian shortage has really endangered a lot of pets’ lives because people can’t access a vet when their pet is in need,” Farley said. “This will enable that to happen much more easily much more quickly, much more cheaply. So we’re excited about the opportunities that come up.”

Even though this has already been signed by the governor, it won’t actually go into effect for a couple more months. Vets are hoping this will be in place as soon as the fall.

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