In an attempt to keep our clients and staff as safe as possible in the face of COVID-19, (heretofore referred to as the ‘rona), the Lake Mills Veterinary Clinic, for nearly a year, has been practicing curbside service. It’s not our idea of a good time either, but we see this continuing for the foreseeable future. Clients are asked to hand off their pets to our staff for the duration of the hands-on segment of their vet visit. We love our pets too, and understand this is never easy. We do our physical exam, feed treats, play peek-a-boo, obtain lab samples, and return them as efficiently as we can… unless it’s an uber-cute Golden puppy or a new kitten. They may be hard to give back. Depending on the nature of the visit, time, and Wisconsin weather, we’ll collect history by phone, or face-to-face; on the front end, back end, or both ends of the visit.
As you can imagine, this model of practice results in a lot more steps on our Fit Bits, and multiples more phone calls. We ask for your understanding, help, and kindness. We have some ‘asks’ of our friends and clients.
1) When you arrive, call and let us know you’re here. Please understand that we may not see you. When our technicians and receptionists ask what vehicle or parking spot you’re in, (if Dr. Stork ever gets the spot numbers up) help us out. We may be in the back of the clinic and unable to see that you’re the only Rolls Royce in the parking lot. If the phone rings to infinity or goes to voice mail that means the good folks on the inside are overwhelmed.
2) We will often talk to you through the window of your car, so if there is an empty space close to the building, please use it.
3) Security please. Cats in carriers. Even if KiKi is 26 years old and only moves once-a-week, we can’t take chances. Please get your dog out of the vehicle for us, and ensure that collars and harnesses are secure. We’ve had Bulldogs back out of harnesses that looked like a parachute packs faster than Harry Houdini out of a straight jacket. If in doubt, we may install a slip leash. For dogs not prone to walking on leashes with strangers, we may carry them into the clinic. We’ll usually ask to receive them sharp end towards owner (hinder to us).
4) We understand the vet visit may be an excellent time to fetch a cup of coffee or take a nap by Rock Lake. We ask that you stay in the parking lot for the duration of the visit and make sure we have a phone number and reliable service. That said, we understand that some appointments may straddle dismissal from school, and we don’t expect folks to leave their kindergartner on the curb.
5) There are circumstances when a pet may present a greater immediate danger to themselves or us than the ‘rona, without their owner. In those cases we will make special arrangements.
6) End of life. We understand that owners may want to be with their pets during these appointments. We have yet to deny anyone that right of passage. Please understand we will be as delicate as possible, but we may ask you to use one of our more spacious, if not rustic, rooms.
It’s been said, “Do the best you can, with what you’ve got, where you are, when you’re there.” We all are. Thank you for your understanding and loyalty.
If your visit gets a little long, you may enjoy scanning the farm field across the road. There are several families of fox, coyotes, and deer that frequent the open space. That may be thanks to Marilyn Nelson. The house and hip-roof dairy barn is where she grew up. She’d sleep with her bedroom window open so her pet goats could come in for the night. Legend has it that there was a fuel oil tank outside the southeast corner of the barn that served a furnace, inside the barn. Marilyn’s dad had a pet Holstein that lived to be over thirty years old. Several times a day you’ll see her take a bucket to the north end of the barn. Raccoons, fox, skunks, and opossum will pile in like lunch time at the grade school.
7) Most classes are proceeding on schedule at this time, although that may change with future guidance. We will notify everyone who is registered for a class if any are cancelled. Indoor lessons operate on a modified protocol: we can only allow one family member to attend with each dog or puppy, and all students must wear a mask while indoors. All of our free community workshops are currently on hold. We hope to resume them in 2022.
8) For those who are picking up food, medications, or other supplies, we are doing a Car Hop service. If you're too young to know what the heck that is, we are taking phone orders and bringing your items to you, while you wait in the car, to limit traffic into the building.
Car Hop service is simple:
1. Call ahead to order what you need (920-648-2421).
2. Pay by phone, or tell us you plan to have payment ready in your car.
3. When you arrive, call us from your car.
4. We'll come out with your items, and take payment at that time if you haven't already paid.
5. Pat yourself on the back for your superior social-distancing skills!
As a healthcare facility, we regularly disinfect our practice to keep you and your pets safe. Since concerns about COVID-19 popped up, we've stepped up our cleaning routine to make sure all surfaces are being more frequently disinfected.
We are following the CDC's recommendations and ensuring that sick team members stay home for the safety of your families and ours. We are continuing to monitor recommendations, and will act accordingly if things change.
As far as your furry friends go, there's no need to worry about them. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), no animals in the United States have been identified with the virus, and there's no evidence that dogs or other pets can contract or spread COVID-19.
If you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. We will be posting regular updates to our website, and also to our Facebook page.