Animal wellness clinic offering services to meet needs

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – The Berkshire Humane Society is operating a pet clinic on the site of the former Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital to help address issues affecting the entire industry.

While many Berkshire pet owners struggle to make an appointment, the phone isn’t ringing at the new clinic.

What do you want to know

  • The Berkshire Humane Society operates a recently opened pet wellness clinic under a one-year lease at the site of the former Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital in Pittsfield.
  • Complete health exams, vaccinations, and pest monitoring and control services are available by appointment only. Pet owners can call (413) 203-4330
  • BHS consulted with local veterinarians before proposing the wellness clinic initiative to see what the needs of the community are.
  • Allen Heights Veterinary Services closed in July 2022

“I called and maybe less than a week and a half later I was already ready to come here,” said pet owner Chris Beattie. “Every other place said, ‘We can’t even book you for anything because we’re ‘full,’ and that’s how it is with every single one of them.

In addition to helping pet owners, Director Kristin McCormick said the new clinic addresses the high demand for pet care many areas are facing.

“We only deal with wellness and vaccines,” McCormick said. “There are cases that may require an ear infection, they may need antibiotics or an ear wash. Usually it’s a good idea to have them seen at least once a year and keep these vaccines up to date, just like humans.

Dr. Yoanna Maitre said the site of the former Allen Heights Veterinary Hospital could expand the sunk cost services it offers.

“It’s important to have the staff that can see these patients,” Maitre said. “Just because there’s a need doesn’t mean you have someone who can do it. So I think we’re currently starting small, just one or two days a week, but we’d like to continue to grow from there.

Staffing continues to be an issue nationwide for many veterinary clinics and hospitals having to turn away patients.

“Unfortunately with the influx of animals being adopted due to COVID, which is great for adoptions, but yes, veterinarians are inundated with clients,” McCormick said.

“As far as the shortage goes, it’s becoming more and more apparent, especially in more rural areas,” Maitre said. “Uniquely, I think in the Berkshires, some vets have passed away, some have moved away, and some are just reaching retirement age. So I think it’s more acute here .

As it works to place its clients in full-service veterinary hospitals as spaces open up, the Berkshire Humane Society said the new clinic helps it fulfill its mission of keeping animals happy and in good health.

“People have been extremely grateful that we opened this up and offered it to the public,” McCormick said.

“I think this is really going to turn out to be a good thing for the community,” Maitre said.

The Berkshire Humane Society said it is currently working to create a residency rotation program at the clinic, with the long-term goal of recruiting more veterinarians to live and work in the area.


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