Odessa and Midland to begin search for joint veterinarian

Published: Jun. 14, 2023 at 9:52 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The City of Midland and City of Odessa City Councils approved a proposal to select a search for a recruiter to help them find a veterinarian that would work with both cities.

It’s a proposal City of Odessa Mayor Javier Joven says was six months in the making.

“We were competing against each other and then the thing is that in that competition we were going to have to overcome a lot of obstacles and in the end probably come back to where we started, not being able to fill the position. So we felt that combining forces would be the ideal situation,” said Joven.

Odessa Animal Shelter Manager Kelley Hendricks says there is a shortage of veterinarians which has been their biggest obstacle over the years.

“Right now if there’s an emergency or if there’s something I need looked at I have to transport them to a couple of local vets that we use here in town, but that takes away from their clients and their time they have to spend over there. So having one here at the shelter, it’s hands on,” said Hendricks.

Hendricks says right now they’re facing close to an epidemic, so having a veterinarian would be a big help.

“We’re seeing some viruses out here that are extremely bad so we’ve gotta protect this facility and the animals that are in it,” said Hendricks.

Joven says the first step now is agreeing on a recruiter and then they’ll begin their search. One thing is attracting and hiring, but the other is retention.

“These are the things that we have to work out, how do we split the week, two days here two days there, what days would that be, what are the hours, what are the incentive packages, what are the weekends, what are the holidays? We’re still a long way from that,” said Joven.

Joven’s ideal goal would be to ensure every animal has a loving home and there is a controlled animal population, Hendricks agrees.

“It’s the community people that have to do this, they have to take the step forward, they have to vaccinate their animals, they have to take care of them,” said Hendricks.

Nothing is concrete as of yet and Joven says while dealing with the overwhelmed animal  population is a battle, the effort, expertise and will is there.