ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) —The COVID-19 pandemic brought on various challenges. One of those being having a high volume of pets in the area and a high demand for veterinary appointments. This is because many local animal clinics have reached patient capacity. A new, holistic-based animal clinic in Rochester has just opened and hopes to relieve some of the stress for both clinics and customers.

New Hope Veterinary Wellness Center started as just that, a new hope for Dr. Christopher Brunson and his wife, Lisa, who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2019. They hoped it would give them something else to focus on. “We were sitting across from her oncologist, and he said ‘well, you have two years and you’re going to be on this chemo drug every two weeks until it stops working.'”

Now the term “new hope” serves another purpose, giving hope to those in the community that are struggling to find appointments for their pets. Dr. Brunson says it can take up to eight weeks sometimes to find a regular appointment. He says the pandemic took a toll on the veterinary industry.

“There’s been a lot of burnouts. A lot of technicians have left the field entirely. Veterinarians have either left or retired and it leaves a vacuum,” Dr. Brunson said. He adds it can take months to recover from those backlogs and it continues for a few years.

The veterinary clinic offers vaccines, x-rays, and surgeries, as well as a wide array of emotional therapies as well. They also offer cool laser therapy and are even the first animal hospital in New York State to have a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber in their facility.

New Hope Veterinary Wellness Center won’t be able to solve all scheduling issues in the Rochester area, but they do offer an opportunity for some pet parents.

Dr. Brunson says, “I never want a client to come in with a concern for their pet and be told you either can do this one thing or I don’t know,” Dr. Brunson says.

He adds he doesn’t want to bite off more than he can chew because he is only one person, but his goal is to be able to offer a solution to those people who were previously told no.

We’ve asked about whether or not they’ll take in emergency cases. Dr. Brunson says right now they don’t have enough staff, but plan to expand in the future to do so.