Restaurants are not the only ones offering curbside service during the COVID-19 shutdown -- Destin veterinarians are stepping up as well.
In an effort to continue to offer quality services to your furry friends, the veterinarians in Destin are taking every precaution for the pet owners and their pets during these uncertain times.
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“We are actually doing curbside pickup only,” said Michael Anthony, office manager at the Village Veterinarian, located on Stahlman Avenue just north of the Destin Community Center.
And the curbside is working great.
“We’re not allowing any clients into the clinic,” he said. “We’re bringing the pets in, treating them and then bringing them back out.”
As for the furry-friends human not accompanying them in, that is working out okay as well.
“Really most of the dogs do probably a little bit better without the owners in there anyways,” he said.
The Destin Animal Clinic located on Commons Drive behind Walmart is doing curbside as well.
When you drive into the parking lot there are signs marking where pet owners should park.
“We can only see medically essential appointments,” said Kira Maraca, who is a veterinarian assistant on staff.
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Destin Animal Clinic is pretty much doing everything but trimming nails and giving baths.
“We schedule them for an appointment just like normal. The only difference is we are doing curbside service,” Moraca said.
She explained that when a pet owner arrives there are signs outside where they should park. Once parked, the pet owner calls the receptionist who will get them checked in, before a technician comes out and gets the pet and brings them inside.
After the doctor has examined or finished with the pet, the technician will return the pet to the owner in the parking lot.
“We’ve been really busy,” Moraca said.
The clinic has been open the entire time of the shutdown.
“Me personally, I quarantined for two weeks, because when this happened I was in Philly,” she said.
Everyone at Destin Animal Clinic is taking every precaution to keep the pet and pet owners safe. Staff wears face masks and gloves when they go out to greet owners and pick up animals.
They also have been using a lot of Lysol and alcohol inside cleaning doorknobs, keyboards and handles, etc.
Airport Veterinary Clinic, located on Airport Road in Destin, is taking every precaution as well.
They are limiting surgeries to emergency/urgent only, as well as limiting personal contact with multiple people, wearing gloves and masks and sanitizing and then sanitizing again, according to Dr. Kelly Haeusler of Airport Vet.
“A first initial step was to lock the front door and put out signs asking clients to call us from their cars (preferable) or knock on the front door,” Hauesler said in an email.
She said they then field the calls and do a curbside consultation and then bring the pet back and forth to the car and clinic.
They even go one step further. Haeusler said most pay by phone with a credit card but they also can bring a card, check or cash back and forth in a “disinfectant wipe.”
“The feedback has been positive,’ Haeusler said.
“Clients are grateful that we remain open and readily accept the curbside service.
“We are as busy as ever before. Life goes on and pets still require medical care. The heroic increase in effort of the entire staff is profound,” Haeusler said.
“Everyone has stepped up to the plate during this change in protocol, which hugely increases the phone calls and the physical time to move the pet from vehicle to the clinic,“ she added.
As for noticing any changes in the the behavior of animals since the shutdown with owners spending a lot more time at home, some say yes.
“Because the owners are home more now, they are noticing little issues, that they might not have noticed if they had been working,” Moraca said.
Haeusler at Airport said she has had some cases where the clients have noticed an abnormal behavior/illness simply by being confined physically at home with the pet.
“Those problems might have otherwise gone undetected during the normally busy, out-of-home, workday,” she said.