As always, but especially now, I hope this email finds you and your pets all healthy and well,
There have been a lot of unexpected changes thrown at all of us and Winter Hill Veterinary Clinic is no exception. Monday I decided that going forward, we would wear gloves and masks so that our small staff could stay healthy and still provide veterinary services. Tuesday we got word that a family member of one of our staff was exposed to someone who was healthy and symptom free at the time, but had since gotten sick and was getting tested for COVID-19.
Upon getting this news midday Tuesday, our doors were immediately closed to the public until we had results and then could plan further from there. In the hopes of having negative test results, our estimated reopen day was set as Monday 3/23. This was a choice that was founded in trying to do the right thing and was the safest choice to protect you as individuals. We always worry about your well being, and of course we always worry about your pets’ health as well- but when we close our doors we still want to help and also need to stay afloat.
In an effort to be able to help in a remote fashion and not strand anyone for needed pet care, we have access to email and medical records. We have some fax access and no phone access as of yet. In the immediate, some of you already know that we have been trying to coordinate remote medical care and trying to help your pets given our current situation. The office has been completely empty from Thursday midday and will be through Monday morning- given the latest information on how long COVID-19 can last on a surface- the building will be clear of potential contamination.
We are planning for our future with countless unknowns and changes day by day- there will be a tremendous amount of change with how we can provide veterinary services in the future. We are working on being able to provide as much as possible remotely and with social distancing to help be a part of the solution. We are hoping to be able to provide hands on care, but this will need to look very different. For your safety and that of our staff, we will need to have as little in person contact as possible and be conscious of the fact that our pets, who thankfully are being spared from this disease, can simply carry this virus into the building. At least for the short term, we will need to start implementing very strict policies if you yourself are sick, make creative solutions such as getting pets from the car to be seen and talking on the phone through the exam and for planning treatments…. this clearly upends how we have always done things.
For years and still to this day, an enormous amount of heart is behind what we are striving to provide for you and your pets. The veterinary field is full of deeply caring people who commit their lives to caring for creatures that cannot speak for themselves and we are no exception. I am immensely grateful for my staff and am very thankful that none of them are currently sick. Mobilizing my team on no notice to completely change our ability to financially survive is still a work in progress. I am sure that many of you face similar challenges.
To help us stay afloat in the short term, if you need any pet supplies or medication refills- it would be an immense help to consider using the Winter Hill Vet Clinic Online Pharmacy. We completely understand that everything seems challenging right now- we are trying to navigate the unexpected, and if this is something that is possible from you, it will directly help us try to keep our doors open and get through this. The link is here: https://winterhillvetclinic.securevetsource.com/site/view/site/view/HomeDelivery.pml?retUrl=http://www.winterhillvet.com/&cmsTitle=Winter%20Hill%20Veterinary%20Clinic
In order to keep our skilled team together and afloat, we need to charge for our time.
Since we cannot currently provide in person help, we can immediately provide telemedicine consults- if you are interested in access to veterinary help, currently Dr. Neenan can provide care. If you are interested, please email with the subject heading CONSULT and we will arrange a time frame when Dr. Neenan can call to give medical advice for your pet.
These will be timed calls, so you will only pay for the time you use. It will cost $27.50 for 15 minutes, $55.00 for 30 minutes, etc for complete access to a DVM. I will have access to your pet’s medical records and we can make a plan together. The goals are to have this be exceptionally easy and effective, I appreciate your patience in the short term. The goal in the very near future is to have additional resources for you as well, such as additional doctors, and of course utilizing my technical staff’s areas of expertise. If you have specific interests and want to request help now, I can attempt to make arrangements for veterinary technician advice in a similar manner at $20.00 per 30 minutes. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we move forward.
Please monitor our website for the latest information- when we have an idea of when we can be back in our Somerville office and have an idea of exactly how things will look, we will let you know.
We look forward to continuing to provide care for your wonderful pets! Wishing you all the best!
******AS OF 6:45 PM 3/20/20 THE RESTRICTIONS THAT ARE IN PLACE IN SOMERVILLE WILL ALLOW VETERINARY CLINICS TO OPERATE******