JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Like so many, veterinarians are having to make changes and find new ways to examine pets during the pandemic.
Vet clinics are putting restrictions in place on how pets are brought to the hospital, how medication is given out and they’re even putting off certain procedures. Many have switched to a drop-off/pick-up exam system.
First Coast No More Homeless Pets has switched to curbside check-ins for pets.
“We are asking that everyone is waiting in their vehicles and are able to text or do a phone communication whenever the veterinarian is ready to evaluate their pets, which is done in the back of our veterinary clinic," said Jennifer Barker, the vet’s chief operating officer. “Then we will reunite the pet with the owner at the vehicle at the end of the visit.”
Barker said the nonprofit is the biggest Northeast Florida community-based organization helping pets during the coronavirus pandemic. Because of that, she said the volume of calls are spiking, and she expects it to get even higher in the coming month.
The vet clinic is trying to focus on emergencies, but it’s still taking appointments for other services.
“Our focus is being available for sick and injured pets, but we realize that making sure pets are vaccinated is still very important and that preventative health care is also just as important," Barker said.
Because it’s a nonprofit and demand for low-cost services has increased, First Coast No More Homeless Pets says any donations it gets from the public make a big difference during this time. The vet is operating by appointment only.