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COVID-19

Dear Pet Parent,

Thank you for trusting us to care for your family member today. We strive to provide compassionate care and excellent customer service. Our intent of this letter is to communicate with you that our hospital has been experiencing much higher volumes of phone calls and patient visits than is typical. This has resulted in significantly longer wait times. We apologize to you for this inconvenience. We wanted to answer some frequently asked questions surrounding the wait time.

Please know that we care very much. Your patience during this time is very appreciated.

Sincerely,

Dr. Marilyn Brink, DVM  &  Claire Allen

Medical Director                 Hospital Manager

 

Why can’t we come into the hospital to wait with our pet?

Patient beds and kennels fill every available nook and corner of our hospital. Our lobby, exam rooms, and even doctor and administrative offices have been converted into patient wards. We miss seeing your faces, and we know your desire to accompany your pet during a stressful emergency. There just simply is no room at this time.

 

Will my pet have to wait in line for care even if they are critical?

No. All patients are assessed by a triage nurse for vital signs and have an exam by the doctor upon arrival. Patients determined to be in an unstable condition are moved to the front of the line. Life-saving care will be initiated right away as indicated. Stabilization of arriving critical patients does extend the wait time of the patients that have less serious problems.

 

If my pet is stable and does have an extended wait, where do they wait?

Most of our pet parents are not on-site, they are waiting at home. So while it may sometimes seem calm on the exterior of our building or in our lobby, our ICU is in full swing and our team is working tirelessly to save a life. So if your pet is stable enough to be waiting, as difficult as it is, that is a good thing. We now offer ER Express, a mobile check-in process. The virtual patient queue allows clients to wait off-site until notified to bring their pet in for examination and treatment. Once you are invited in for care, you can expect the visit to take between 2 and 4 hours. Please return home during this step in your pet's care. Dogs are safely housed in a stainless-steel run or kennel. They are provided food (if appropriate), water, a cot, and walks outside. Cats are separated from the dogs in a cat-designated room. We provide them with food (if appropriate), water, and a litter box. 

 

What you don't see:

  • On any given day our hospital is seeing on average 60 emergencies ranging from oxygen-dependent patients, vehicular traumas, emergency surgeries, toxicities, and patients who are transferred from other hospitals. That’s 145% more patients than before the Covid-19 pandemic. We are actively and aggressively seeking doctors and support staff amidst a nationwide shortage of qualified candidates in the veterinary industry. The pandemic sparked a dramatic increase in pet adoptions and there aren't enough veterinarians to meet the demand. That said, our hospital has increased staff by 200% and brought on 6 more doctors since the beginning of the pandemic. Exhaustion, mental and emotional fatigue as we are trying our hardest to help every pet to the best of our abilities. We put our all into our patients, so when we read harsh criticism in a negative review, it stays with us more than you’d think.

  • Neighboring emergency hospitals continue to have interruptions in service, causing a large influx of patients into our ER. This has resulted in even longer wait times. Our team is committed to staying open to serve our community. Unfortunately, this commitment has resulted in extended times, but we promise to never turn your family member away.