Isn't there a way that the veterinarians' offices in this county could establish an on-call system for after-hours and on weekends? Surely there are enough veterinarians available to take turns, so that there would be some type of emergency care available when needed.

We lost our 9-year-old Newfoundland-Bernese mix in September to bloat. The symptoms started late at night. We called our vet's office, got the number to call at Medix, but no vets were on call that night. After making many phone calls, we made the difficult decision to attempt the trip to DoveLewis clinic in Portland. She died 5 minutes from the clinic.

She did have other medical issues, and she may not have made it through surgery, and it was probably best that she did not have to go through the surgery, but what if it was a younger, healthy dog? Or, if a dog got hit by a car, or some other emergency?

Don't we have enough people in this county, let alone the many visitors that come here with their pets, to justify having a vet on call?

I hope the veterinarians' offices will address this important issue.

TERRI LEHMAN

Astoria