Top veterinary practice in Chicago

After 'pandemic pups,' local veterinary clinics are overwhelmed and overbooked

The crush of new business during COVID-19 made for a busy year at Oz Animal Hospital in Lincoln Park, where owner Dr. Tracey Maione also worked as a veterinarian. The hospital was double booked most days, and requests for appointments had tripled.

Maione was pregnant, however, and looked forward to the respite of a two-month maternity leave. She gave birth at the start of March, but by the end of the month — facing a combination of an overbooked schedule and a lack of available veterinarians to cover shifts — she made the hard decision to cut her leave in half and headed back to the office.