An Open Letter to Our Clients:
All of us are enduring an exceedingly difficult time with a very much altered way of doing things, thanks to a worldwide pandemic. At the animal hospital, we have had to make tough decisions to protect our staff and our clients. We’ve had to suspend much of the face-to-face interaction that we feel is an important part of the communication process. We are now and will continue to utilize “curbside” service, which comes with its own set of challenges, especially when dealing with what most people regard are their family members, their pets.
We need our clients to know that we are doing the best we can under difficult circumstances. Spring and summer are typically our busiest times of the year, and this year is no exception. While most of you have been patient and even appreciative of our efforts, we have experienced a few folks who have expressed frustration and anger over how we have had to do things. Our support staff (technicians and receptionists) are the ones that are exhausting themselves on the phone, running back and forth between your vehicle and the hospital, and keeping our packed schedule running as smoothly as possible. We cannot do any of this without them. However, they are the ones that have taken the brunt of the frustration and anger. Please know that they are doing more than we’ve ever asked of them, and they are doing an amazing job for us. While we understand that this pandemic has increased the stress level of almost everyone, we need to ask for your patience and understanding as we continue to bring the best service possible to our wonderful clients and their pets. We will not compromise the safety of our team, as much as this can add to the burden of how we must do things. If you must express your frustration, please ask to speak to a manager, as we will not allow verbal abuse to be directed to our team members.
We would like to outline some of the issues that we have run across lately in hopes of clarifying so that you are more prepared for your next visit with us:
- If you do happen to see clients entering the building, it is because their pets are coming in for euthanasia. We feel that due to the sensitive nature of these appointments, it is not appropriate to perform these procedures in the parking lot.
- If you schedule a euthanasia appointment, please note that our policy is no more than two people permitted into the building with the pet, and both must wear masks for everyone’s protection.
- Many of you are concerned about your pets being in the building without you. Let me assure you that they are in good hands. As a matter of fact, about 95% of our patients are calmer than usual because the building is not crowded, and they are less stimulated by the sights, sounds, and smells that would normally cause them anxiety. We would never harm your animal, and if this is ever a question in your mind, then you need to reevaluate your trust in us and consider seeking veterinary services at another clinic.
- It is hot outside, and it will only get worse. We are doing our best to be as expedient as possible, but sometimes what we do takes time. If an appointment is taking a bit longer than expected, there’s a reason. We are not advertently dragging our feet to extend the appointment time. We do prefer to stay on time with our appointments. If your vehicle does not have air conditioning or you are opposed to sitting in your car with the engine running, then we are happy to accommodate a drop off appointment. Simply let us know, and we can arrange something that works for all parties involved.
Our appointment schedule has been overwhelmingly full every day. This has been another point of frustration for some clients. Be assured that we are seeing the maximum number of patients we can while still maintaining the quality of care that you have become accustomed to. If we inform you that we can’t see you and your pet at a time that you prefer or need, it’s because we are already overwhelmed and can’t take any more patients on that day. Yelling at us is not going to magically make room for us to accommodate you.
For those who grace our doors with their presence and cannot find it within themselves to be a decent human, please know that your behavior will not be tolerated. To clarify, if you have an issue and cannot speak to us with courtesy, we will be happy to send your pet’s records elsewhere.
We also ask that you please remember to wear your face gear when coming to the clinic and during your interaction with our team members! Our incredible staff is working tirelessly on the front-line to help you and your pet. You are not wearing it for you; you are wearing it for the team as a sign of respect and appreciation for all that they do. We appreciate your understanding in doing everything possible to protect them and their loved ones.
We have the best clients anywhere, and we value the relationship we’ve had with you and your pets. Thanks for recognizing that we want what’s best for your pets while we take care of you and our team.