Veterinary Emergency: Saving Time, Saving Lives

by Alison Gregory

Emergencies, they range from everything,” Sharon Pryor, owner and office manager of Shores Veterinary Emergency Center, offers. “It’s everything from an ear infection to you get hit by a car.” In client Danielle Wise’s case, emergency care was needed when her dog, Jackson, stopped eating. Taking the advice of a Shores employee, Danielle brought Jackson into the ER. “I hated leaving him there, but I trusted what they were telling me,” says Danielle. “I trusted my gut and let them do what they needed to do.”

Shores Veterinary Emergency Center opened in early December along Union Deposit Road. The state-of-the-art facility is Harrisburg’s only veterinary emergency room, and aims to alleviate time and stress from pet crises by offering after-hours service from experienced staff.

You could have the most beautiful building, you could provide the best medicine, but if you’re not treated with respect and empathy and professionalism, it sort of ruins the entire experience.” says Sharon. Sharon and her husband, Dr. Ivan Pryor, own Shores in addition to their day practice, Dillsburg Veterinary Center. They recognized the area’s need for an animal ER about three years ago, and after researching the possibilities, the couple built the office and organized a team to satisfy the space. “The team is an amazing group of people.” Sharon smiles. With three full time doctors, a handful of veterinary technicians, and customer service oriented front desk associates, every member of the Shores team takes pride in the facility. “Having a day practice was part of the client experience so we wanted to marry that to the emergency [clinic],” Dr. Pryor adds. “Client service may not always be the focus [in ERs], so we try to make it a really high priority.”

Shores X-rayed Jackson and discovered that had eaten a bandage off of his foot from a previous injury. He was kept on fluids overnight, and stayed in the facility with 24-hour nursing care until the bandage passed. When he finally ate, he was released back into his owner’s care. “Honestly, at the point we were with Jackson, I don’t know what I would have done,” says Danielle. “I knew he couldn’t go much longer without food.” The last thing any owner wants to worry about is if their pet will survive the night.

Nowadays, pets aren’t pets, they’re family members,” adds Sharon. The cost of family members’ care, especially in an emergency situation, can put a financial burden on owners. “We always recommend the best treatment plan,” she says. “If they can’t afford them, there’s other options. We never deny anyone medical care, so we’ll always do something for that pet to get them through whatever’s going on.” Shores offers care credit to clients who require assistance as well. “If they need help, we’ll figure out a way,” adds Dr. Pryor.

Emergency veterinary centers like Shores have saved the lives of many, including Jackson. “[I] feel like he was in good hands and this was the best course of action for him,” says Danielle. The team assures clients that they have additional plans for the future, as well. Right now, Shores only opens for overnights and 24 hours on weekends and major holidays, but the team plans to change the facility’s hours to 24/7 by the end of the summer. They also look forward to welcoming specialists into the facility, adding more services, educating people on pet health and even constructing an outdoor euthanasia sanctuary. Because of urgent pet care, Jackson and so many other pets are able to return home to their families.

Join Shores for an open house at their office on 835 Sir Thomas Court on Wednesday, April 18th from noon – 4 p.m. Visit them online at