Jordan Ballard, a veterinary technician at the Springfield Animal Hospital, picks up “Charlie” from his owner’s car to take him into the hospital Wednesday. To keep their customers and themselves healthy, Springfield Animal Hospital is offering curbside service so pet owner don’t get out of their cars. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Coronavirus: Springfield Animal Hospital goes curbside service

The Springfield Animal Hospital is operating through curbside service to ensure the safety of their clients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had started out just limiting the amount of people in the building, stretching our appointment times out and those types of things,” Springfield Animal Hospital Manager Evelyn Pillion said.

The animal hospital went to curbside services to help accommodate stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines instituted by Gov. Mike DeWine, Pillion explained.

She said she decided to do this, “just to protect my staff and keep everyone as healthy as we can during these times.”

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When a pet owner arrives, they are advised to call the animal hospital. One of the animal hospital’s employees will come out to the vehicle to collect the pet. Pet history will be taken over the phone, Pillion explained.

Once the pet has been examined or treated, the doctor will call the pet owner to go over the results.

“Right now the only people in the building are just staff, so we do not have any outside contamination,” Pillion said.

Curbside services are working “very well” and pet owners have been open to this new idea, Pillion added.

“We’ve been extremely busy,” Pillion said. “With people being home I think they are seeing more. Their older pets are doing things or their cats are doing things that they may not notice being gone from home eight to 10 hours a day.”

Pillion said the animal hospital is not doing any type of wellness appointments at this time to keep the exposure limited.

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To ensure the safety of their clients and staff, the animal hospital has been following guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

“It appears that dogs and cats are not readily infected with SARS-CoV-2, we have little to no evidence that they become ill, and no evidence that those that may be naturally infected spread SARS-CoV-2 to other pets or people.” the AVMA website said.

SARS-CoV-2 is the betacoronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The AVMA website recommends if a pet owner becomes ill with COVID-19, they should restrict contact with their pets and other animals, but there is no reason to remove the pet from the home unless the owner is unable to care for the pet.

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