Current Phase Protocol:
- As of June 30th, we we began a modified re-opening of our building. Appointments that are scheduled with a Doctor are the only clients coming into the building as we move forward into the fall.
- As the COVID case numbers rise and the restrictions on businesses get tighter, we do have to require that masks be worn when inside of our building. If you are unable to wear a mask for any reason (which you do not need to explain) please let us know as we will be happy to provide curbside service for you and your pets.
- For the appointments that are scheduled with a Doctor, you will be asked if you would like to be present with your pet or if you would prefer curbside service. One of our staff members will give you further instructions upon scheduling your appointment.
- Food and prescription pickups as well as appointments that will not be seeing a veterinarian, will remain as curbside service only for the time being.
- Scheduling is open to all appointment types with priority given to sick and injured pets.
- Emergencies are taken based upon staff availability and any that we cannot see will be recommended to be seen at another local hospital or an emergency animal hospital (Please see references at the bottom of this page for a list of clinics or emergency hospitals currently accepting new clients that may be able to help you).
- Please be flexible with your scheduling of non-urgent appointments. We are working as hard as we can to get everyone seen in a timely manner.
Why is the Veterinary Industry Taking So Long to Open Their Lobbies?
In the veterinary industry we have not only the state governing the things that we do but we also have veterinary governing bodies that we also receive guidance and instruction from. There has been a lot of confusion between both sides. On one hand we are seen as a health care facility and on the other we are seen as an agriculture business. Both with very different regulations for continuing business during the pandemic. Most clinics/hospitals have chosen to keep their lobbies closed until either many of the state mandates are lifted or until we have enough staff members vaccinated to try to avoid a complete shut-down of our business should we experience an exposure.
Veterinary professionals are used to working in very close quarters to handle and appropriately treat our patients. This close working environment means that should we have an exposure within our clinic, nearly all of our staff will have been exposed, regardless of mask usage. Over the course of the pandemic, if we had experienced an exposure here, we would have been forced to close our doors for the minimum 2 week quarantine per the health department. With the closure of our lobby, mask usage, and safe handling of patients and client interactions, we made it through so far without an exposure and without having to close our doors. We thank you all for your patience in waiting for this time to come and hope that you will keep helping us while we get through July and can hopefully re-open our lobby for ‘business as usual’.
Not Currently Accepting New Clients:
There seems to be some misunderstanding in the community about our policy regarding this subject. For those of you whom are established clients at our hospital, we will do our best to schedule your pets for an appointment as you request. We will also happily accept any new pets that you add to your family and will care for them as we do for all of your current furry family members.
We are only not accepting new clients. So the folks that haven’t been in to see us before will need to establish care at another facility until the time at which we can support the increase in appointment requests. We cannot in good conscious, add clients to our business that could pose a greater risk of displacing our current clients in the process.
Missed appointment/Late Cancellation Fee:
Fee for missed routine care or urgent care appointments = $26 per scheduled pet
Fee for missed surgical/sedated procedures = $75 per scheduled pet
We ask for a 24 hour notice, should you need to cancel your pet’s appointment, in order to allow us time to fill that appointment. Late cancellations (less than 24 hours) may be subject to the same fees listed above.
Our thanks go out to our community and current client base:
First and foremost we want to extend our sincere thanks to our community for being as understanding as possible through these difficult times. There have been many changes that were mandated by the government and many changes that have taken place out of necessity to remain in business and available for as many of our clients and patients as possible. We understand that many of you are frustrated by our current lack of available appointments and want you to know that we are equally as frustrated by the situation. We ask that you take a moment to read the statement about the challenges that every veterinary hospital has been facing throughout this pandemic. Followed by some of the changes we have made and the reasons for which we have made those changes.
Why are Veterinary Hospitals so busy??
All too many times have we been asked, is it me? Do you not like me? I have been a client for a long time! Trust us, we know and we don’t want to tell you no. We don’t want to tell you we’re currently full for the day. We are working incredibly hard every day to see as many patients as is physically possible. It is incredibly difficult to be in this position but it’s not only our hospital. Most veterinary hospitals in America are facing the same problems.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we were told by our governor that we not only had to change the way we do business and operate only via curbside service, but we also could no longer see routine appointments or perform routine surgeries. This went on for 3 months! Meanwhile, we started to see more and more sick or injured pets, behavioral problems, and other medical related issues that were found due to the increased attention from pet owners being home with their pets.
Once we could start seeing routine appointments again, then came the challenge of being 3 months behind on routine appointments, on top of a full load, every day, of sick or injured patients, and add on a 250% increase in requests of appointments for new puppies and kittens that were adopted or purchased since pet parents now have the time to be home and raise them… So there was a sharp increase in demand but we had to remain closed to the public which caused great strain on everyone including us due to the time it takes for each appointment.
Each curbside appointment takes roughly twice the time that a standard appointment used to take. There are many phone calls involved in the process as well; from check-in, to doctor updates, authorization for treatment, and check-out in the end. This situation often wears on the patience of those involved and sometimes results in our staff being treated VERY poorly by clients that are waiting, wanting the process to go faster. Too many times have we had to have the conversation surrounding yelling at and general disrespect of our staff and the fact that this will not help you reach your goal. Showing a little compassion and doing your best to communicate with us without anger will go so much farther! The vast majority though, have remained very patient and understanding and for those of you, please know that we sincerely appreciate you!
We added a fantastic Doctor to our staff back in August of 2020 and have continued to search for yet another full time veterinarian to help meet the demand of our current client base. Unfortunately there is a lot more demand for veterinarians than there are veterinarians available to work. So it is not easy to “just hire another”. We take the care of our patient’s very seriously and want the right team members here to help you and your pets.
But it is not only the availability of veterinarians that has been difficult lately. The effects of the pandemic on our staff has also been a struggle. Any ill staff member now has to stay home (length of time dependent on symptoms and severity) even for minor cold or allergy symptoms. We cannot risk being shut down for two weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Many of our staff members are also working mothers, high risk individuals or have high risk family members. All of this, directly effects the availability of our support staff. This is yet another area where we cannot just hire another staff member. The jobs of our current staff members that are home caring for children and family are protected. So any new hires would have to be temporary and that is not an easy position to fill with someone experienced enough to fill the position and be trusted with the care of our clients and their pets. We are all working incredibly hard to maximize the amount of work we can do without compromising patient care and communication with our clients. We are hopeful that the availability of vaccines will help be a part of the solution to this problem.
To make a long story short, every veterinary hospital in America has experienced over a 300% increase in demand for appointments, anywhere from 30% to 50% decrease in support staff, and we have been given half the time to do it due to the demands of providing all service via curbside manner.
Please know that we are equally excited to see the schools re-open and for our building to re-open soon, so that we may begin our journey towards starting a new normal. We look forward to welcoming you back into our hospital as soon as we possibly can!
We are currently working on a solution to catching up on the many patients that are overdue for vaccinations. We will be sending updates out via email and regular mail in attempt to notify anyone with pets that are overdue for treatments. If your contact information has changed in the last year, please call or email so that we can update your file prior to sending out any further updates.
***Always call before you go!! No matter the hospital, please call before you leave or have a passenger call while you are on your way as availability and waiting times at each hospital varies greatly! The following listings are available emergency options in our area, they are not direct recommendations by our hospital and would not mean that you have been referred by our hospital. For an appointment to be considered a referral, the referral must be made by direct contact from our veterinarian to the facility that they have recommended for you at the time of your appointment with us***
24 Hour Emergency Hospitals:
CRVS (Columbia River Veterinary Specialists) – 360-694-3007
St Francis Animal Hospital (Not 24 hour but open until 11PM) – 360-253-5446
Portland Oregon –
DoveLewis ER & ICU Animal Hospital (Downtown PDX) – 503-228-7281
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin – 503-691-7922
Cascade Veterinary Referral Center (Tigard) – 503-684-1800
Tanasbourne Veterinary Emergency (Hillsboro) – 503-629-5800
VCA NW Veterinary Specialists (Not 24 hour, open until 8PM) Clackamas 503-656-3999
SW Washington Animal Hospitals/Clinics currently accepting new clients or urgent care visits –
***The locations on this list are subject to change, always call and ask the facility***
(Last updated 04/24/2021)
Banfield – 2 locations Hazel Dell (360-574-1400) and Vancouver (360-253-7732)
East Padden Animal Hospital (Vancouver) – 360-892-1500
Vancouver Veterinary Hospital – 360-696-2529
Feline Medical Clinic (Vancouver) – 360-892-0224
North County Animal Hospital (Ridgefield) – 360-887-1838
Lower Columbia Veterinary Clinic (Longview) 360-636-1801
Animal Health Services (Kelso) 360-423-9310