Hot on the tail of NYC's pet threats

Shadowing the night shift at a veterinary hospital.

New Yorkers love their animals, and nobody takes this more seriously than BluePearl, a veterinary partnership with locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn.


Metro recently spent a Sunday watching the vets try to save animals New Yorkers brought into their West 55th Street location, shadowing their team on the night shift.


And New York's high-rise city life can mean unique challenges, like cats getting too close to windows dozens of flights up or dogs eating strange substances in Central Park.


“I see my job as helping people with their pets, not just helping pets," said Dr. David Bessler, 38, who has been with Bluepearl since it began nearly seven years ago.


The 20,000-square-foot facility has a lot of options to help furry family members, including an Intensive Care Unit capable of aiding patients who need constant monitoring, such as assisted breathing.

In Manhattan, the city life makes animals more susceptible to sicknesses with toxic drugs, like dogs that may accidentally eat narcotics while out on a walk, and "high-rise cats," or the problem of cats falling from high places.

However, balancing both patient and client isn’t always easy, and when surgeries can cost thousands of dollars, both parties can find themselves in a difficult situation.

“You feel helpless when you come across people with financial constraints … nobody wants to have to choose between their pet and their pocket book,” said Melanie Felice, 32, an emergency service supervisor.

Despite the sometimes stress, Felice said it is the best job out there.

“No matter what, we’re always trying to help," she said. "Even if it means ending a pet's life, it still might be the best thing to do.”