Veterinary & Emergency Info
How do I know if I have a pet emergency?
Nobody knows your pet better than you. If you are concerned about how your pet is acting, do not hesitate to bring them in for an evaluation. The peace of mind knowing your pet has been examined by a trained professional is invaluable.
What are your hours of operation?
For emergency care, we are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. For referral appointments (cardiology, internal medicine, and surgery), please call 570-587-7777 Monday – Friday from 7am – 5pm and a Referral Coordinator will be able to schedule you for an appointment.
How long will I wait to be seen for emergency care?
Just like a human emergency room, wait times fluctuate based on the number of patients and the severity of the conditions. We do our best to serve you as soon as possible, however, the most critical patients need to be seen first. We appreciate your patience.
Can VREC be my primary care veterinarian?
VREC is a secondary and tertiary care facility and we act as an extension of your primary care veterinarian. We are open 24/7/365 for emergencies or for care after your primary care veterinarian’s office closes. Our services do not include routine veterinary care such as wellness appointments or vaccinations, however, we may be able provide recommendations of veterinary clinics in your area.
What types of animals are seen at VREC?
VREC focuses primarily on canines and felines. Exotic pets (guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds, etc.) can be seen on a doctor-by-doctor availability and we encourage you to call us to make sure a doctor with experience is on duty. We do not have the ability to provide care for large animals such as horses or wildlife.
If you need an equine veterinarian, we suggest calling Abington Equine Hospital at 570-904-8800. They are open 24 hours and currently offer coverage for central and northeastern Pennsylvania.
If you need an exotic animal veterinarian, we suggest calling the following:
- Creature Comforts in Saylorsburg at 570-992-0400; open 24 hours.
- St. Francis Animal Clinic in Coal Twp. at 570-644-1006 (hours vary)
- Alpine Animal Hospital in Danville at 570-271-1828 (hours vary)
Can you offer assistance remotely?
VREC is committed to providing the best possible medical care for your pet. Every emergency is unique and each pet needs to be thoroughly examined by our staff to obtain the most accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. We cannot give advice over the phone or through social media channels such as Yelp, Google Maps, or Facebook Messenger. If you feel that the situation is critical, you can call us on your way to the hospital.
Why are emergency services more expensive than a visit to my primary care veterinarian?
VREC takes pride in staffing our facility with highly trained veterinarians, technicians, and support staff 24 hours a day. The costs of maintaining equipment and facilities necessary to provide emergency and critical care services 24 hours a day is beyond that of a routine veterinary practice.
Emergency care is almost always an unforeseen expense and our staff will do everything possible to provide care while adhering to your financial budget. Financial concerns can be brought up with our client service representatives and/or the veterinarian responsible for the care of your pet.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, check (Pennsylvania checks only), Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Care Credit®.
What is your payment policy? Do you offer payment plans?
Payment in full is required upon discharge. For pets requiring hospitalization, 50% of the quoted high-end estimate is due upon admission. We do not offer payment plans, however, we accept payments through Care Credit®, a third-party credit line which is used specifically for human and veterinary medical needs. You can contact us for more questions or visit their website.
What happens if my pet must be admitted to VREC?
If it is deemed necessary that your pet needs to be admitted to the hospital, an estimate for the care of your pet will be provided and you will be asked to make an initial deposit. The remainder of the balance will be due at discharge. During your pet’s time at VREC they will be monitored around-the-clock and you will receive updates on your pet’s status throughout the duration of the visit. Feel free to call with questions or concerns at any time.
Once admitted, will my pet ever be left unattended?
We operate on a 24-hour basis and have doctors and technicians staffed around the clock, so your pet will never be alone. The doctors’ workstation is centrally located, allowing for a panoramic view of the entire intensive care unit (ICU) area. This allows for observation of all hospitalized patients and timely changes in treatment protocols.
Can I visit my pet if they will be hospitalized?
You may schedule a visitation with a hospitalized pet by giving us a call at 570-587-7777 to arrange a time. Visitation times may vary based on your pet’s vitals. In order to provide quality care for all of our hospitalized patients, we ask that you limit your visitations to keep from disrupting your pet’s treatment and recovery.
NOTE: Safety protocol dictates that feline I-131 therapy patients cannot have visitation access. Pets who are quarantined in our isolation units may also not have visitation access. Thank you for your understanding.
Should I leave personal belongings with my pet when hospitalized?
Toys and stuffed animals are permitted if adequately labeled and although we do our best to make sure such items stay with your pet, we are not responsible if the item becomes lost during hospitalization or laundering. We have an ample supply of blankets, towels, and beds for your pet’s comfort. If your pet requires a special diet or if you prefer to supply food, please make sure to clearly label all bags, cans, and containers. Please note that we cannot accept any raw food diets.
How do I obtain updates about my pet while hospitalized?
To provide efficient patient care and to prevent miscommunication, we ask that one individual be designated as the contact person who will receive updates. A doctor or technician will provide regular updates on your pet’s progress. If there is any change in your pet’s condition, it will be immediately relayed regardless of the time of day or night.
What is the discharge process like?
For hospitalized patients, the discharge process takes place during normal business hours – Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. Please contact us if you need a discharge time outside these times.
During discharges, the pet owners will receive detailed notes on their pet’s condition, along with diagnosis notes and home care.
Will VREC share findings with my primary care veterinarian?
VREC works in partnership with you and your primary care veterinarian to provide the most complete veterinary care possible. Your veterinarian will receive medical notes, consultation findings, diagnostic test results and information in regard to any procedures performed at our facility. You and your primary care veterinarian are welcome to call us with any questions or concerns at any time.
What is a referral clinician?
Both your primary care veterinarian and a referral clinician have earned their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD) degree, which typically requires four years of undergraduate training and four years of veterinary school. A referral clinician must also complete an additional one-year internship and an additional three to five years of residency training.
How do I get a referral?
VREC does not require a referral for any of the services we offer. During regular office hours your primary care veterinarian may refer you directly to VREC for care if they feel that your pet requires a level of testing or treatment beyond what they are able to provide. If your pet has been admitted through the emergency/critical care service and requires additional care (internal medicine, cardiology or surgery), the care of your pet may be internally transferred to one of these referral services.
What should I expect on a referral visit?
For your initial referral consultation, pet owners will need to fill out information forms and provide contact information. Once in an exam room, a technician will obtain a brief history and record your pet’s weight and other vital signs. The referral clinician will review the prior diagnostics, perform a physical exam, and explain diagnostic and treatment options available for your pet. We require your consent before performing any diagnostic tests or treatments.
Expect to spend 60-90 minutes for your initial consultation and approximately 30 minutes for any recheck appointments. Read more about appointments here. Please provide at least a 24-hour notice for cancellations or you may be charged.
What is the Angel Fund?
VREC’s Angel Fund was developed shortly after we opened in 2010 as a way to provide assistance in situations where financial burdens prevented pet owners from obtaining veterinary care. If a pet and owner qualify for the Angel Fund, our doctors donate 100% of their abilities and the facility donates any/all hospitalization and procedural fees. The only charges to the Angel Fund are costs associated with supplies and medications to aid in the recovery of the pet. Since inception, the Fund has helped provide essential (and oftentimes life-saving) care for over 150 animals. If you would like more information or if you wish to make a donation to the Angel Fund, please click here.
Do you have translation services?
If you require a translator, please notify us at your earliest convenience so that we may accommodate you. Sign language translators are also available but we ask that you provide a request no less than a week before you visit.
Can I bring a stray animal to VREC?
VREC does not have adequate space to take in healthy stray animals. If you find a stray cat or dog that appears to be healthy, please call Griffin Pond Animal Shelter at 570-586-3700 or contact the city police in the area where the animal was found. We can provide additional animal rescues and shelters that may be able to assist. If you find a stray animal that appears to be sick and/or injured, you can bring it to the facility and we will take the necessary steps to care for the animal to the best of our ability.
Can I bring injured wildlife to VREC?
If you spot injured wildlife, handle it as little as possible. If it must be moved to safety, always wear protective clothing and gloves when handling. VREC does not treat wildlife but recommends Pocono Wildlife Rehab in Stroudsburg at 570-402-0223 or Second Chance Wildlife in Tunkhannock at 570-836-1851. Additionally, the Carbon County Environmental Education Center in Summit Hill may be able to provide information for dealing with wildlife, particularly birds, in distress. They can be reached at 570-645-8597.
What hotels/restaurants are nearby?
We have compiled a list of pet-friendly hotels and local restaurants here.