UPDATED MAY 21ST, 2020:
As you might have guessed based on our name, our team at FPHC highly values family. We strive to treat every person and pet we interact with like they are truly part of our families. This means that one of our foremost concerns is keeping everyone – human and animal – safe and healthy. Through this pandemic and the changes to our protocols, we are working hard to maintain our excellent level of service to our clients and patients. We understand how difficult it is for you to be away from your pets during their exams. To be honest, it is difficult for us, as well. We miss you. We miss speaking face to face. We miss seeing the love you have for your pets and the way your eyes light up when you talk about them. We miss being able to share in your joy and we miss being able to provide comfort to you in person in times of sadness.
We, too, are anxious for our doors to be open and to “get back to normal.” Until then, thank you for your support for the precautions we are taking to protect you and our staff. We want to remain open to care for your pets and maintaining social distancing protocols and following the recommendations made by the CDC and American Veterinary Medical Association give us the best chance of doing so. We know life is stressful right now and we are feeling it too. Our team is going above and beyond during this unique time to give your pets the attention and love they would get from you if you were with them.
While the state is opening back up, we will continue to provide care using car-side service. Many of our staff members interact with high-risk individuals in their personal lives and, as an employer, it is our responsibility to provide them with a workplace in which they feel safe. We ask for your continued kindness and patience while we experience higher than normal phone call volumes, longer hold times, and some increased waiting times. While these all can be frustrating situations, they are a direct result of our staff giving personalized and committed attention to our clients and their pets, just like we promise to give to you and your pet.
We are reminded every day, especially during this pandemic, that our clients are our biggest blessings. Your kind words are heard and felt more than you know. Your patience is received with gratitude. Your laughter is truly contagious and brightens our day. The goodies that you surprise us with give us a moment of calm while we snack on them and your cards give us second of peace – a reminder that what we do matters.
We look forward to the day our doors open back up. Until then, visit our Facebook page for behind-the-scenes updates!
UPDATED MARCH 23RD, 2020:
What does the Stay-at-Home Order beginning Wednesday mean for our pet’s care?
A Stay-at-Home Order restricts travel to essential travel only. At this time, veterinary clinics are considered essential businesses, so we will remain open to care for your pets.
We will continue to see patients for sick and emergency visits. We have implemented a “concierge service” for all appointments and medication pick-ups. This means that we ask all clients to call from the parking lot upon arrival. If someone in your home is self-isolating, please let us know so that our staff can take appropriate measures to protect themselves.
For medication pick-ups, we will collect credit card payments over the phone and deliver the medications to your car. Cash or check payments will be collected when medications are delivered.
For appointments, we will take a medical history over the phone when you call to check-in. A technician will then retrieve your pet from your vehicle and bring him/her in for the appointment. We will call you with an update after the exam and then deliver your pet back to your car. We ask that you remove any clothing/harnesses that your pet is wearing. For dogs, we will be trading out your normal leash for a sanitized lead from the clinic to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
We are so grateful for your flexibility as we navigate these uncharted waters!
As you are aware, the Mayor of South Bend in conjunction with the St. Joseph County Health Department have called for extreme social distancing. While Family Pet Health Center will remain open to see sick patients and emergency cases, we are establishing new protocols to maintain the health and safety of our staff and clients.
Beginning Friday, March 20, 2020, we will be implementing concierge service for all clients. We ask that all of our clients call us from the parking lot upon arrival. If someone in your household is self-isolating, please inform us during this phone call so that our staff can assist you safely by wearing personal protection equipment. If you are picking up a medication or food order, a staff member will deliver your order to your car. Credit card payments can be made over the phone, while cash and check payments will be accepted when the medication/food is brought to your car.
While our goal is to limit in-person interactions in accordance with recommendations made by the Department of Health, we in no way want to sacrifice service. If your pet is here for an appointment, a staff member will take a detailed history from you over the phone when you call to check-in. That technician will then escort your pet from the parking lot to the clinic while you wait in your vehicle. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough exam of your pet and create a treatment plan, just as they would during a “normal” consultation. You will then receive a phone call with a detailed explanation and discussion of the exam and treatment plan. Payment will then be taken over the phone and your pet will be escorted back to your car.
We understand that is very unusual, but these are very unusual and uncertain times. We thank you for your help and understanding as we prioritize your safety and that of your pet’s healthcare team!
With hope and gratitude,
The Doctors and Staff at Family Pet Health Center
UPDATED MARCH 16TH, 2020: At this time, Family Pet Health Center will remain open to care for our sick patients and emergency cases. We will be rescheduling our wellness visits, spays, neuters, nail trims, and other non-life threatening appointments at the recommendation of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
To do our part to keep our clients and staff safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, we are establishing new check-in protocols. We ask that every client bringing their pet in for an appointment call from the parking lot. When we have an exam room sanitized and available, a technician will call back so we can quickly get our clients and patients into a room. This is to minimize the amount of people in our lobby and limit possible exposure.
If you or someone in your home has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you let us know when you call regarding your pet’s illness or emergency. In this event, we will discuss our protocols for keeping our staff safe while serving your pet.
We will continue to update our clients as our procedures evolve along with this outbreak. Thank you for your understanding and flexibility!
ORIGINALLY POSTED MARCH 11TH, 2020: As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Indiana grows, we want to assure our clients that we are taking precautions to prevent the spread of illness at Family Pet Health Center. We are increasing the number of times a day that we are disinfecting common areas of the clinic – door handles, benches, counter tops, bathrooms, etc. Staff members who are showing signs of illness, especially the flu and coronavirus, are encouraged to stay home, as always. We are being extra cautious when it comes to illness, which may affect wait times for appointments if we have a large number of staff out sick. We are happy to report that at this time, no staff members are actively displaying symptoms of the coronavirus or the flu.
In order to protect our clients and staff, we ask anyone who is feeling ill to reschedule their pets’ appointments. If it is an emergency situation and you must bring your pet in, we ask that you follow CDC guidelines and wear a protective mask if you are showing signs of illness.
There are no current plans to close Family Pet Health Center. Should that change, we will notify our clients through Facebook, our website, and phone calls for all scheduled appointments.
We also want to take this opportunity to address concerns regarding pets and the coronavirus. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is monitoring developments related to animals very closely. Right now, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread by companion animals according to the Center for Disease Control. However, people who are sick with COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals as a precaution. We will share updates from the AVMA as we receive them. For more information about COVID-19 as it relates to pets, please visit https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/animal-health-and-welfare/covid-19.