Pretty much everything in our lives has become complicated and inconvenient. The threat of the virus has permeated nearly every aspect of our lives and any excursion out of our homes requires thought and the proper protective gear. Although one might think that veterinary care for pets would not be a high priority during the past few months, the vet offices have been very busy. I suppose along with the unexpected emergencies, people having extra time on their hands has allowed them to squeeze in appointments that they might not normally get to.
Four of my pets have required unexpected veterinary care in the past two months including one late night trip to the emergency clinic. I have to say that I was very happy with the precautions that the clinic staffs are taking to keep themselves and their clients safe. It was, however, traumatic (to me at least) to have to hand over my pet to a technician in the parking lot and not be able to comfort them in what is always such a frightening experience for animals. Putting my very sick 7-month old puppy in the hands of a stranger to be carried off into the clinic and then having to wait in the car for the call from the vet was absolutely excruciating … but it was a good system given the circumstances and, most importantly, it worked.
After calling the office to see if I could get him in, I was instructed to go on line and check in virtually. Since he had never been to the emergency clinic before, I had to type in all his information, heath history and reason for the visit. THIS IS NOT EASY TO DO WHEN YOU’RE IN A PANIC!!!
I actually visited three different vet clinics during all of this and with each one, the process went smoothly; make the appointment, call when you get in the parking lot, hand the pet over to the technician and wait for the vet to call you on your cell phone while he or she is doing the exam. It certainly isn’t ideal in terms of the emotional aspect for the pet owner, but given the necessary precautions that must be taken, it’s a good system.
For those of you that need to update your pet’s vaccines, the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter will hold its monthly low cost vaccine clinic from 9 a.m. to noon June 20. In order to keep everyone safe, visit sjras.org to register and prepay for your appointment. Shelter staff will be available to direct you upon arrival. Stay with your pet in your car until called upon and have only one person accompanying the animal. Masks are required.
Most municipalities have delayed the requirement to have your pets registered with up to date Rabies vaccines until June 30 so this will be the last clinic before the deadline. Your pet may be eligible for a three-year vaccine but you must present proof of the last unexpired vaccine.
Please keep in mind that all dogs must be secure on a leash no longer than four feet long. Check your dog’s collar before exiting your vehicle to make sure it is fitted properly and will not allow him to slip out. Cats must be in carriers or secured in a harness and leash. Ensure that carriers are closed and latched properly. We discourage the use of harnesses and leashes on cats as they are unreliable and offer no protection from other animals that may be attending the clinic.
Stay safe and let’s hope we’re all able to get back to some semblance of ‘normal’ very soon!