We hoped that COVID-19 would not still be such a big part of our lives heading into the 2022, but unfortunately, it’s becoming clear that we are facing another severe wave of new cases. We have been closely watching the rise in cases over the past week. As cases have climbed, we have had more and more reports of direct COVID-19 exposure amongst our staff and our clients. We expect to face staffing shortages over the coming weeks and may need to reschedule patients at short notice if we do not have enough staff to provide care to patients.

While we have loved being able to see you in person over the past 7 months, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily return to curbside care. Curbside service minimizes our contact with each other, reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. We want to be able to stay healthy so that we can continue to be here to serve you and your pets. We greatly appreciate your understanding as we take the additional precaution of limiting our direct contact with clients until COVID-19 cases decrease.

For those who have not been at St. Francis during curbside service, here is what you can expect for your pet’s visit:

1. No clients will be allowed to enter the clinic for wellness visits, medical appointments, technician appointments, or surgery check-ins. We will continue to allow two clients to accompany their pets inside for end-of-life care, include quality of life assessments and euthanasias.

2. When you arrive in the parking lot, the signs will direct you to call or text either the Appointment Line or the Curbside Pick Up Line (for those needing to pick up prescriptions, medications, or preventatives). These are dedicated lines to our concierge team. If the line is busy, please leave a message or dial the main line at (651) 645-2808. Staff will respond to your message as soon as they are available. These cell phones will only be answered during business hours.

3. When we are ready to retrieve your pet, please take your pet out of the car for ease of transfer to our veterinary team. For dogs, we ask that you help us add a second leash for safety moving to and from the building. If your dog is nervous, we may ask you to walk to the building with us.

4. Provide a phone number that you will be reachable at while you are waiting in the parking lot. After the doctor has examined your pet, they will call you to discuss exam findings and recommendations. When your pet is finished, a staff member will return your pet to your vehicle.

5. It is very important that you do not leave the parking lot. In order for us to see as many patients as possible in these conditions, we need to be able to return your pet to you as soon as we’ve finished.

We have two requests to help us make curbside safe for everyone. First, please be sure that your pet is safe for us to transport. Dogs should be wearing a well-fitting collar and leash. We will place a second slip leash on your dog for extra safety as we move them into and out of the clinic. If your dog is nervous, we may ask you to place the slip lead for us. Cats and small animals should be in a secure carrier. Please do not bring cats or pocket pets on leashes, wrapped in towels/blankets, or in open containers like laundry baskets. We are on a busy, noisy street, and we want to be sure that pets don’t get startled and run away. Second, please wear a mask for all interactions with staff. Staff is masked and wearing face shields at all times.

We sincerely hope that this will be a short term change. We know how scary it can be to wait separately from your pet, and we much prefer having face-to-face conversations with you about your pet’s medical care. We appreciate your willingness to make this transition for the health and safety of our staff, and for your safety too! We are so grateful for your trust in us.