Dear valued clients,

The last few weeks have been very challenging for everyone in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxieties have been high for everyone on multiple fronts. Safety for the individual, for the family, friends and co-workers as well as for our community is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts.

This pandemic has completely up-ended our way of life and has asked every single one of us to re-evaluate our responsibilities to each other. Our responsibility to you, our patients and our staff is something we take very seriously. We are committed to remaining open for as long as possible; to be there for you and your pets in your and your family’s time of need.

Since implementing our current protocol of seeing only emergencies and urgent care cases, we have been inundated with severely ill and debilitated patients. Our hourly normal has become broken bones, seizures and life-threatening gastrointestinal illness to name but a few. All of this comes while trying to protect our staff not only from illness, but also from burnout. At times we have been so overwhelmed that we have been forced to postpone or even turn away these dying patients. As you could imagine, this is something that is very difficult for us to stomach.

Fortunately, we have had an incredible response from all of you. The selflessness and understanding many of you have shown us by postponing, rescheduling or cancelling routine visits and requests for exams for non-life-threatening conditions is truly inspiring. To everyone who sees those nails that are a bit long or that beak that is a bit flaky or pointy, to everyone who sees that behavioural issue coming to light and realizes that some lost feathers or fur is not a reason for imminent panic: we thank you for your patience and co-operation. By understanding your own situation, you are directly freeing up a spot for an animal who is dying and in desperate need of our help. Your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.

We also realize that when it comes to your own pet, sometimes it is difficult to make that distinction on whether or not what you are seeing and experiencing would constitute an emergency. We are still here to help. We ask that you call us and send us pictures or videos of what you are seeing and we will assist you in assessing the priority of care for your pet. In some cases we can set up a telemedicine appointment to assist you right in your own home.

For all of you who have kindly postponed your pet’s routine visits, you can call us to be added to our standby list for when we resume seeing patients who don’t need urgent care. As you can imagine that list, even after a couple weeks, is extensive and growing rapidly. But you will not be forgotten.

These trying times are stressful for everyone. But they have also shone a spotlight on the strength and courage of people and society, qualities that may have been less evident before COVID-19: compassion, determination, perseverance, kindness, empathy, patience and understanding. On behalf of our staff, our clients, our community and – above all – our patients, thank you and stay safe.

The Links Road Animal & Bird Clinic