Fall Covid-19 Update

posted: by: JL Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

11/20/2020

As the seasons change, we also have some changes here at Towne & Country. This is a long email, but contains important information, please read the email in its entirety. We have doctor changes, hour changes, holiday closing changes and operational changes.

We are booking out 2-3 weeks for well visits however we do have same day sick appointment times set aside for our sick patients. If your pet is sick and needs to be seen please call the office, do not use email or the pet portal app. Sick appointments are booked on a first call first seen basis. We ask that you call at 7:30 am on the day you need to be seen. If you get the answering service please do not leave a message for an appointment, wait a minute and call back. We are here and will turn the phones over but we need to have an empty line to do that.

If your pet needs to see the technicians (nail trim, anal gland expression, bloodwork, etc.,) they are booking out 1-2 days.

 

If you are here to drop off a pet for surgery or have an 8 am appointment and are calling to check in, please do not leave a message with the answering service, call back and make sure to talk to a receptionist in the office. We do not get our messages until later in the morning and do not know you are here unless you speak to someone in the office.

 

We are still doing curbside service and only staff members are allowed in our building. Please plan on arriving 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time so we can check you in and plan to stay in our parking lot during the appointment. Plan on being here an hour for a single pet doctor appointment, longer if you have multiple pets here. We are now asking you to bring your pets to the entrance door after we check you in and we will be discharging them through the exit door. We have found this is better for the pets and safer for our staff as we are not reaching into your pet’s environment and trying to remove them. We will be switching leashes at the door; we will place our leash on and then ask you to remove yours. All cats must be in a carrier. If you do not have a carrier a pillowcase or cardboard box with a cover works just as well. This is for their safety as we do not want any cats escaping when we are handling them outside.

We understand that people want to be with their pets when they are here. Quite honestly, we like it better that way too. Things are taking longer than normal and we are constantly brainstorming new ways to lessen the wait. This is all new to us too. We are learning as we go and hope things are getting smoother.  We understand waiting is hard but we all want to give every pet the best care possible. Please be patient. Due to the recent increase of positive Covid-19 tests in the area and current guidelines we do not know when we will be letting clients back in the building. We are operating based on guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association and mandates from the New York State governor. We will let you know of any changes and when you will be allowed back in the building as soon as we possibly can.

 

We now offer contactless pickup for medications. When you call to order and pay for medications you will be given a 4-digit pin to unlock your locker. Look for your pet’s name on the locker, after entering the 4-digit pin, press the E or # button, depending on the locker. Please leave the locker unlocked when you are done so we know the items have been picked up.  Directions will also be posted near the lockers. No more calling in when you are here and waiting for someone to bring them to you! The lockers are sanitized several times a day and there are touchless sanitizer stations for your safety.

Where are these lockers located? During regular hours you can pick up medication from a locker inside our exit door, the door on the far right when looking at the building. Not available to pick up during regular business hours? We have lockers at our back door, by our staff parking lot in the back of the building. Again, these medications must be paid for at the time you order them to use our pickup lockers.

We are not able to use the lockers for bags of food, controlled medications, or temperature sensitive items. Please let us know when you order your medications if you will be picking up during or after hours as that determines which locker your medications will be in.

 

Speaking of business hours, ours are changing. As of Monday, 11/30/2020 our new hours will be:

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 7:30 am to 6 pm

Wednesday and Friday 7:30 am to 5 pm

Saturday 7:30 am to 3 pm

 

Did you know you can use our new pet portal to request refills, appointments and see your pet’s vaccine information? We can also text, please make sure we have your cell phone number on your account to use this feature. You can text us and send us pictures to 607-937-8222. Any videos need to be sent to our email, tcvh@stny.rr.com. Please allow up to 24 hours for medication refills and appointment requests. If you need more information on our new Pet Portal app please send us an email asking for app information or if you do not have a smart phone visit our website at http://www.towneandcountryveterinaryhospital.com and click on the “Pet Portal AllyDVM” tab to use the web version. The email you use for the Pet Portal login must be listed in our system.

Soon you will notice some changes in our doctor staffing.

After 17 years Dr. Michelle Warren has resigned. Her last day will be November 23, 2020. She will be leaving us to take a position at a quieter practice in Troy, PA. We wish her good luck and will miss her.

After 5 years Dr. Collin Cary will be leaving us on December 23, 2020. We wish him good luck and will miss him as he moves to a veterinary clinic in Watkins Glen where he can focus on exotic animal medicine.

Dr. Min Thak joined our staff to help fill these veterinarian positions. If you have had your pet in for a well visit you may have already spoken with her. She has been settling into our hospital since July and is starting to see more patients.

Even with these changes you will still continue to hear those old familiar voices of Dr. Michael Cary, Dr. Ann Cary, and Dr. Denise Hardisky during these challenging times in the world around us.

 

We will not be having our Annual Open House this year. We do miss seeing your faces and having you in the office but due to Covid-19 we need to keep all our staff and clients safe. Santa’s Second-String Reindeer will be here for a socially distant display in December. Watch our Facebook page and website for more information.

If you have an emergency when we are closed please call our main line at 607-937-8222 to speak with the answering service. Emergencies will be directed to the on-call hospital for the day. We share rotating emergency coverage with Agape Veterinary Clinic, Chemung Valley Veterinary Clinic, Corning Animal Hospital, Lake Road Animal Hospital, and Rio Vista Veterinary Hospital. Non-holiday emergency coverage is weekdays 5 pm until 8 pm, Saturdays 8 am to 3 pm, and Sundays 9 am to 2 pm.

Holidays and after hours will be referred to Cornell University Hospital for Animals in Ithaca. They can be reached at 607-253-3060.  If Cornell is at capacity, they will be referring to other hospitals. It depends on the day as to which hospital Cornell would refer to. The best option is to call Cornell to see if they are at capacity and if they are, ask which hospital they are referring patients to.

There are a few other hospitals we would recommend if Cornell is at capacity.

VCA Colonial, also in Ithaca, can be reached at 607-257-3650. They are open 7 days a week 8 am to 10 pm but they have been closing earlier at 8:00 pm or 9:00 pm, just call to see their hours for the day. They will be open until 5 pm on Thanksgiving Day and are closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Vestal Veterinary Hospital, located in Vestal, can be reached at 607-754-3933. They are open for emergencies 8 am until 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays. During those hours they will see any pets of non-clients if they are able to. Please call to see if they have any availability. They do not have weekday emergency hours.

If you have an emergency please do not just show up at the on-call hospital. You must speak to them before you arrive as they are on call and may not be at their facility if there are no patients to be seen or they may be at capacity for the day.

 

Our holiday closings are listed below.  

We will be closing for the Thanksgiving holiday at 5 pm on Wednesday November 25th and will reopen on Friday November 27th at 7:30 am.

We will be closing for the Christmas holiday at 5 pm on Wednesday December 23rd and will reopen on Monday December 28th at 7:30 am.

We will be closing for the New Year’s holiday at 5 pm on Thursday December 31st and will reopen at on Monday January 4th at 7:30 am.

 

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to call us.

 

The Staff at Towne & Country Veterinary Hospital