To our MN Pets community,
We are continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Minnesota carefully. While we know that this is a stressful time for our entire global community, we also recognize the very personal heartbreak that you may be experiencing as you face this difficult decision for your pet. To be faced with a painful personal loss at a time when there is fear and uncertainty in the world around us can feel overwhelming and isolating.
Our goal during this time and all times is to be here to support you through the loss of your pet and to help you say goodbye peacefully and gently at home where your pet is most comfortable. We recognize that when fear and heartbreak increase in the world, so does the need for compassion, empathy, and courage, and our goal is to continue to provide this important service while doing everything we can to minimize risk.
To ensure that we are able to continue to help pet families in our community, we have developed a plan to keep our clients and staff safer:
What we are doing:
- Asking all employees to stay home if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms and quarantine for 14 days or according to the CDC or their healthcare provider’s instructions.
- Maintaining social distance of at least 6 feet at all times
- Wearing face masks for the entire duration of the visit
- Extending time between visits in order to thoroughly sanitize. Disinfection procedure includes washing hands before and after each home visit, and using hand sanitizer before, during, and after each home-visit; carrying disinfectant wipes in vehicles and disinfect belongings; switching to hard-sided boxes instead of fabric medical bags and thoroughly disinfecting between visits
- Refraining from exchanging materials in the home, including payments and resource booklets. All grief support materials are now included on our website.
- Clay paw prints are now being offered, but are completely optional and may carry a risk due to being handled by the provider. If you prefer to avoid that risk, this post outlines alternatives memorial items you can make yourself before the visit.
What we ask of you during this time:
- In accordance with CDC and MN Dept of Health guidelines, everyone present at the visit will need to wear a mask or face covering for the duration of the visit.
- Read and acknowledge the electronic consent form in your confirmation email and prepay for your visit over the phone or through the payment link in the consent form.
- The doctor will call you when she is on the way to help review the precautions – please be ready to answer your phone
- Let us know if anyone in your home has been ill with COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days so that we can take extra precautions or postpone the visit.
- Maintain 6ft of distance from the doctor and help limit close interactions to keep them as brief as possible as directed by the doctor.
- Clients will step 6 ft back as the doctor gives the medications, and then will be able to come back with their pet as they fall asleep from the sedation medication. If you have questions about this, please let our support specialists or the veterinarian know.
- To ensure proper social distance can be maintained and to lower the risk of exposure, we ask that you only have 1-2 people present in the room or location of the euthanasia and no children under age 6.
- If you and another person from your home are physically able, the doctor may ask that you carry your pet to her vehicle (under her guidance) to help maintain social distance from the doctor
- Consider having the visit take place outside when possible.
- If you prefer to avoid the risk of transmission, you may talk to our support team or doctor about an unattended euthanasia, in which the doctor gently and lovingly euthanizes your pet without your presence so that it is a no-contact or low-contact visit
Most importantly, we ask our clients for their understanding and flexibility during this challenging time. Cancelling or rescheduling a client’s visit is a last-resort option and a decision that we do not take lightly. However, if our doctor is suddenly feeling ill or was exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, we will be in contact with you with alternative options.
We recognize that there is an inherent risk with all types of social contact and we understand that many people want to avoid that risk. Our doctors and staff have some level of inevitable risk of exposure, just as the general public does, due to their families, other employment, other MN Pets clients, and activities of daily living such as grocery shopping. If you are interested in learning options for keeping your pet as comfortable as possible until the risk of COVID-19 lessens, we recommend that you contact your rDVM for palliative care options or talk with a member of our team about options for unattended euthanasia.
As this situation unfolds, there may be additional recommendations handed down by the CDC or the MN Department of Health. We will monitor these and make changes to this plan as necessary. We promise to communicate transparently and clearly and do whatever we can to identify options and precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy.