2505 S 80th St, Tacoma, WA     

What does a wait time mean?

Our wait times represent our best guess of how long it will take for our team to evaluate your patient and for the doctor to contact you and provide their assessment of your animal.  

Why is the wait time so long?

First of all, thank you for asking.

There are many factors that are playing into our extended wait times currently. Every single day we are receiving more requests for care than we are able to provide. We are focusing our efforts to provide care to animals with the most life-threatening ailments first and foremost. In general though, there are larger forces at work. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen drastic changes in the number of pets being brought into the ER. Many people got pets in 2020 and 2021 and many of those pets have gotten sick or injured. Primary care veterinary offices are also overloaded. You may find that it takes multiple-weeks to get in for an appointment, and many offices that are not accepting new patients. We assure you, everyone WANTS to help your pet, but we are simply unable to accommodate these new numbers of patients in the same ways we always have. Please know that we are doing all we can to increase our capacity and capability. Summit has mobilized our full capability to do as much good as possible and our teams are working overtime.

You are welcome to call us for a list of other emergency hospitals in the area! Sometimes, we shift wait times and someone may be able to see you sooner. 

Why don’t you just hire more people?

We are! And we have been! Some months, our patient numbers are DOUBLE what they were last year. Sustaining a hospital with our high quality of care and a strong workplace culture requires people with years of advanced training and certifications which are in short supply all around the country. That being said, we are always hiring, and we are a wonderful team to work with. If you know experienced emergency veterinarians, certified technicians or other friendly people looking for a job, don’t hesitate to send them our way. We will be grateful. 

I am super frustrated. I just waited for hours and I want to explode. What should I do?

Take a deep breath. Please know we value your time and your pet’s health. We may be calm and kind when you see us, meanwhile we are juggling a thousand things in the back. At times our teams may be a bit short on time and we are sorry for those experiences. Yelling, cursing and threatening our team won’t decrease your wait time or make anyone feel great about the job they are doing. Ask about dropping your pet off with us so you can go home and relax a little. We are animal people too and we know that the stress of a sick pet combined with a long wait is nerve-wracking and frustrating. Calmly let us know you’re getting upset and we can work together to find a solution. If you’re already pretty amped and just need to vent, please do not take things out on the team that is working so hard to help. Feel free to reach out to our leadership team to have a respectful conversation.

How can I help?

Once upon a time, we told people that cards, cookies, and coffee were always helpful. At this point, we would be ecstatic to have patient, kind clients. If you have a great experience, please tell us. If you have extra to give, please tell a friend or neighbor to be kind and patient should they end up in a similar situation.

Thank you for reading this! We truly are doing the best we can.