We have received word that during the Illinois Shelter in Place order effective March 21 at 5 PM to April 7 that Veterinary Services are considered “essential” and we will remain open during this time as planned. We have put procedures in place to minimize risk to you, our staff, and your pet. Below, please find Dr. Ross thoughts and communications to our clients regarding this outbreak. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions at 847-213-0600. Thank you and stay safe!
In these troubling times, we are all a bit anxious and uncertain of the future. Those of us who lived through 9/11 thought that may have been the worst day/week of our lives, but I think that many of us are starting to recognize that these are also troubling, personal, and more drawn out times. There is a great deal of uncertainty for the future, and normal daily stressors are now additive to this.
I want to express my thanks to you for being a loyal client, either throughout the years or for the short time you have known us since we have been open here at My Neighborhood Vet. This hospital is my lifelong dream and you are a huge part of that. I have spent a great deal of time attempting to look forward over the last several days and trying not to focus on the immediate anxiety of the day. I have been thankful for the family around me, be they my partner, my immediate family, my close friends, my amazing staff, or my clients. I know that working together, we can all get through this.
With that said, at this time I want to reiterate that we have made some relatively minor but important adjustments to our processes at My Neighborhood Vet. My full time staff and I have assessed the situation, and implemented some changes to provide social distancing and enhance safety to the best of our ability without severely distracting from the service we provide. To make this environment safe for everyone, we are instituting the following procedures and policies:
- We remain open and are not planning on changing hours at this time, but we will keep you updated as time progresses based on staffing abilities and government issued orders. Most states and government authorities consider veterinary services as “essential” so we do not anticipate closure. As always, should you experience an emergency, please refer to the emergency section of our website.
- Our day to day disinfection procedures already in place are already stringent, but we have enhanced these procedures through even more stringent and regular cleaning procedures than usual.
- Sadly, for everyone’s safety, we will minimize contact with you during your pet’s visit. This includes but is not limited to not shaking hands and giving hugs. This profession is known for its compassion, and it will be very difficult for our staff to not provide physical contact as part of your visit. Please know that our compassion level is still what drives us, and we will still give a lot of virtual hugs and handshakes!
- To minimize contact between clients, we have scheduled all of our appointments for 1 hour per client instead of 30 minutes per client until this crisis passes. If we do find crossover of clients occurring, we will ask you to remain in the exam room to minimize the risk of social interaction with other clients.
- If you have concern that you may be ill, we ask that you delay your pets visit if possible. If your pet is ill and must come in, we ask that you have a healthy family member or friend bring your pet to the appointment.
- While we find our direct in room interaction with you essential to your pet’s care, and we would prefer to maintain this interaction with you during your pet’s appointment, certain circumstances may warrant more separation. As such, we ask that you not enter the building with your pet if you are exhibiting signs of illness. If you are healthy and still would prefer not to enter the building, this can be arranged. We are offering clients to “drop off” their pets for care by using our foyer as a drop off area. Should you wish to not enter the building, or are ill and should NOT enter the building, you can call us from the parking lot and we will use our foyer to “exchange” your pet between your care and our care.
- If you do need medications, food, or other products and do not wish or are unable to come into the office, we can bring them to your car for you. Alternatively, please ask us about our own online pharmacy options to support your local business.
- We will offer “telemedicine” evaluations soon (video conferencing, etc) when possible. Unfortunately, because of state and Federal law, we can only offer this option to established clients.
Overall operations will continue to provide you and your pet the essential services needed for day to day health, while keeping in mind the safety of you, me, and my staff.
Additionally, I would like to take a moment to comment on the concerns about animal care during this time. Should something happen to any one of us, it is important that we all have plans in place for the ongoing care of our furry family members. As many of you may know, I am a member of the Board of Directors of Tree House Humane Society. As part of the The Chicagoland Lifesaving Coalition, Tree House has issued a joint statement which I think sums up well all the preparations we should be making for our pets’ ongoing care. While these recommendations are good for all times, they are especially important now, and we will assist you in making them as needed.
I know that this crisis is affecting us all in different ways, and I want to thank you, one and all, for being a part of my extended family. The success of all of us depends on us supporting each other, and this is a time when our community can come together despite our physical separation, shine, and show what wonderful, caring, and resourceful people we all are.