Vets during a pandemic

Aspen Halbhuber, Social Media Editor

With the initial outbreak of Covid back in March of 2020, almost a year ago, countries all over the world went into quarantine. Many workers started working from home, students began learning online via on-screen meetings, and the average person simply stayed inside to avoid catching the virus and to protect the health of others. With all this new time spent at home, everyone had to find ways to occupy themselves. Something a lot of people chose to do was bring a fluffy friend into their loving home to keep them company.

Since so many puppies and kittens have been adopted, vets have been super busy. I have experienced the craziness through my own eyes. I work at a vet in Sterling Heights and we are booked months ahead with simple check-up appointments, grooming appointments, surgeries, immunizations, and so much more. I believe it’s been busier because a lot of pets were adopted while everyone was at home for so long.

One Utica student that adopted a puppy during quarantine is sophomore Kayla Ingalls. She thinks it was a great decision.

“It really gives you comfort with all the hard times going on right now. It feels like a gift from god that everything will be okay, and getting my puppy during quarantine has really helped me through these tough times not being able to see family and friends,” sophomore Ingalls said.

Sophomore Mya Harmon is another example of someone that decided to adopt a puppy during the pandemic.

“Over quarantine we decided to rescue a puppy since my sisters and I would be home for a while. We then found a German shepherd lab [mix] and named her Paisley,” sophomore Harmon said.

When you think of going to the vet, you most likely think of taking your pet into the waiting room, being with them through the process of everything, but that’s not the case now. With the pandemic, so many aspects of how veterinary hospitals run have changed–just like most places in the world at this very moment.

One change is that my coworkers and I must wear masks at all times and it gets hard to breathe with all the animal hair when grooming, with trying to settle dogs down, and with trying to see what we’re examining. It is also especially difficult communicating to each other and our patients’ owners, which gets very frustrating.

A big change is that customers can no longer come into the office with their pet and they must remain outside in their cars. I can’t believe how hard it could be for some owners to let their dog or cat be taken into care without their supervision. I know that if I had a puppy or kitten I would definitely want to be inside the building in case anything went wrong.

Due to owner’s not being able to come inside, it can get very frustrating for anyone answering the phones because it’s usually people asking about their pet when we are in the middle of working, or someone asking why their pet hasn’t been brought out to their car yet. Since we now have to bring the animals in and out, it makes our job ten times more exhausting because we have to figure out which car dogs and cats belong to and which ones are ready to leave, or scheduled to go first. It’s much easier when you have the owners in the building so there’s a form of face-to-face contact and it’s easier to match the pet to the owner.

I’ve come to learn over the past months just how difficult this pandemic has made a variety of jobs, especially the veterinary field which people don’t consider as much. However, our pets are like our family and they deserve just as much care as we do. It is a true statement that veterinary hospitals are just as important as any other businesses during Covid. They ensure your little fluffy family member is healthy and have the ability to live their life to the fullest capacity.