PET HOSPICE & COVID-19

May 15, 2020

Dear Friends of Nevada Pet Hospice,

We are monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Southern Nevada carefully, and have been from the beginning. While we know that this is a stressful time for our entire global community, we also recognize the very personal heartbreak that you may be experiencing as you face this difficult decision for your pet. To be faced with a painful, personal loss at a time when there is fear and uncertainty in the world around us can feel overwhelming and isolating.

Our goal during this time, and all times, is to be here to support you through the loss of your beloved friend and to help your pet say goodbye peacefully and gently at home, where they are most comfortable. We recognize that when fear and heartbreak increase in the world, so does the need for compassion, empathy and courage.  Our goal is to continue to provide services while doing everything we can to minimize risk.

To ensure that we are able to continue to help pet families in our community, we have developed a plan to keep our clients and staff safer, and to do our part in slowing community spread here in Southern Nevada. The plan outlined below describes what our company will be doing and what we ask of our clients during this difficult time.

What we are doing:

  • Asking all employees to stay home if they are ill with COVID-19 symptoms, and remain isolated for 14 days or according to the CDC or their healthcare provider’s instructions.

  • Office staff will work remotely

  • All staff who have traveled internationally or been on a cruise ship or who have a household member who has will self-quarantine for 14 days.

  • Doctors and staff are taking extra hygiene and distancing precautions at all home visits, including:

    • Extending time between visits in order to thoroughly sanitize

    • Washing hands before and after each home visit, and using hand sanitizer before, during, and after each home-visit

    • Carrying disinfectant wipes in vehicles so that staff can disinfect belongings that others may have touched (ex. medical supplies)

    • Switching to hard-sided medical supply boxes instead of fabric medical bags, and thoroughly disinfecting between visits

    • Maintaining social distance of at least 6 feet at all times, and keeping closer distances to very brief periods of time

    • Wearing washable fabric masks and gloves

    • Refraining from leaving any papers or materials in the home. All grief support materials are now included on our website

    • Refraining from handling payment in the home

    • Refraining from creating and providing a clay paw print

    • If requested in advance, the doctor will be comfortable performing the euthanasia without the client’s presence. The doctor will facilitate payment, communication, and aftercare services without coming into personal contact with the client. Advance notice is needed so that an assistant can be scheduled.

    • If weather conditions make possible, the appointment can be performed outdoors to maximize personal space

What we ask of you during this time:

  • Read and acknowledge the electronic consent form found in your confirmation email

  • Let our support staff know if you or anyone in your family has been ill with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath). And, let our support staff know if you or anyone in your family has traveled internationally or on a cruise ship in the past 14 days so that we can work with our doctor to take extra precautions or postpone the visit.

  • If you or anyone in your home is feeling ill, please cancel your visit and work with our support team to reschedule when it is safe to do so

  • Wash your hands immediately before and after the visit

  • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from the doctor and help limit close interactions to keep them as brief as possible as directed by the doctor

  • To ensure proper social distance can be maintained and to lower the risk of exposure, we ask that you minimize the number of people present in the room or location of the euthanasia. Additional family members are encouraged to join via Facetime, Skype, or a phone call.

  • If you and another person from your home are physically able, the doctor may ask that you carry your pet to her vehicle (under her guidance) to help maintain social distance from the doctor

  • Prepay for your visit over the phone or online with a credit card. If you do not have a credit card, you may pay with CareCredit over the phone

  • If the weather allows we encourage outdoor visits when possible to maximize social distance

  • We encourage you to wear a mask (any kind of cloth face covering such as a fabric mask or bandanna is fine), which is recommended by the CDC to help protect others in cases that are asymptomatic

  • Be ready with soap and paper towels for our doctor to wash hands in your home

  • The doctor will call you when she is on the way to help review the precautions

  • If you prefer to avoid the risk of transmission, you may talk to our support team or doctor about an unattended euthanasia, in which the doctor gently and lovingly euthanizes your pet without your presence so that it is a no-contact or low-contact visit

Most importantly, we ask our clients for their understanding and flexibility during this challenging time. Cancelling or rescheduling a client’s visit is a last-resort option and a decision that we do not take lightly. However, if our doctor is suddenly feeling ill or was exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, we will be in contact with you with alternative options.

We recognize that there is an inherent risk with all types of social contact and we understand that many people want to avoid that risk. Our doctors and staff have some level of inevitable risk of exposure, just as the general public does, due to their families, other employment, other Nevada Pet Hospice clients, and activities of daily living such as grocery shopping. If you are interested in learning options for keeping your pet as comfortable as possible until the risk of COVID-19 lessens, we recommend that you contact your rDVM for palliative care options or talk with a member of our team about options for unattended euthanasia.

As this situation unfolds, there may be additional recommendations handed down by the CDC or the NV Department of Health.  We will monitor these and make changes to this plan as necessary.  We promise to communicate transparently and clearly and do whatever we can to identify options and precautions to keep everyone safe and healthy.

Thank you and stay safe,

Toby Goldman, DVM CHPV

NEVADA PET HOSPICE

702.528.5882    info@nvpethospice.com

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In case of emergency, please call

Las Vegas and Henderson Emergency Center - 702.457.8050

3340 E. Patrick Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89120-3413

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care - 702.252.7070

8650 West Tropicana Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89147

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