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Vet clinics still working to treat animals while keeping pet owners safe amid coronavirus pandemic

Staff at Northern Oaks Bird and Animal Hospital retrieving pets from vehicles and consulting pet owners outside their vehicle windows

SAN ANTONIO – The coronavirus outbreak is forcing a lot of businesses to close, but the businesses that remain open, like local veterinary clinics, are having to operate much differently.

The staff at Northern Oaks Bird and Animal Hospital is working to treat pets while still keeping pet owners safe.

They’re doing that by retrieving pets from vehicles and consulting pet owners right outside their vehicle windows.

“So, at this point, we are providing valet service for all of the pets,” said Dr. Rebekah Byrd, veterinarian and owner of Northern Oaks Bird & Animal Hospital. “We have no clients in the building because we are trying to maintain our safe social distance. In order to stay open, we want to be as safe as we can for both our clients and for ourselves so, we can stay open and remain healthy for everyone.”

The staff is also deep cleaning every 45 minutes.

“We’ve divided ourselves into two teams so we are not overlapping,” said Byrd. “So, in case anyone gets sick on one team, then we can still work the other team so, our teams are not overlapping at all.”

Barbara Biscotto, who takes her dog to the clinic, said she appreciates the measures the staff is taking.

“This is why I like this protocol because we’re protecting her because if we don’t protect her, we’re not going to have our pets taken care of,” said Biscotto. “So, this is awesome. I love it. This is the best thing to do. We love her. She’s awesome.”

Biscotto said she’s so glad Dr. Byrd could see her dog, “Bellavita” on Wednesday.

“I just know she’s (Bellavita) well taken care of and I don’t have to be there,” said Biscotto. “She’s well taken care of and I don’t even have to be there and that’s important to me.”

“We’re still trying to take care of everybody’s pets because the worse that happens in a health crisis is to let pets also suffer and then clients have their emotional suffering that goes along with it,” said Dr. Byrd.


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