May 3rd, 2021
I am happy to announce the Hill-Dale team is close to being fully vaccinated, and we are getting ready to reopen our building to the public. We are extremely grateful for your support and understanding of curbside veterinary medicine the last twelve months.
Staying open in a non-traditional way allowed us to take care of sick pets, see new arrivals, and handle emergencies. The curbside model is not ideal, and we are all eager to see you in person again.
Effective May 17th, one person will be allowed in exam rooms for appointments, and the lobby will be open for picking up medication, food, and supplies. When you arrive for your appointment, please call, tell us which stall you are parked in, and whether you would like to come in or have a curbside appointment. We are happy to do either for you.
Please remain masked while in the hospital, and maintain social distance. Handkerchiefs/bandannas, gaiters, face shields, and chin guards are not acceptable masks. Please keep your nose and mouth covered. If you arrive without a mask, you will not be allowed entry, but we will offer you curbside. We continue to follow CDC guidelines and have sanitizer stations available throughout the hospital. We expect that as recommendations update, and we see how our workflow is progressing, we will make tweaks to the system.
Telemedicine appointments are still offered if you are not feeling well, or wish for a ‘facetime’ evaluation from home.
Veterinary medicine, like so much else, has changed during the pandemic. Caseloads have increased as more people have adopted pets and more pets have needed care. Other practices have staggered staff, shortened hours, and reduced appointment availability. We have done none of these things, and are actively trying to manage caseload and staffing levels so that we can be available when you need us. I ask for your continued patience as we work hard to be efficient, and above all caring.
For the past year, my team has hustled, hugged the fur babies, listened to emotional pet owners, problem solved, and faced (a very scary) unknown. They have done it with grace and kindness even when they were hurting too. I am so proud of them. And I am deeply appreciative of your support.
If you have any questions or concerns, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 17th, 2020
To our valued clients;
It is with heavy hearts that we must reach out and let you know effective immediately Hill-Dale is going back to Curbside-Only service. In spite of our diligence and bubble culture, we have had a staff member test positive for Covid-19. Out of an abundance of caution, and with everyone’s safety in mind we have closed our building to the public. We are following the CDCs guidelines for essential workers and continue to sanitize around the clock. We hope that this change will only be short term, but for now all appointments will be curbside service.
Please continue to make appointments for your pet through regular channels (phone call, text, email, Facebook Message, Google Message). When you arrive, pull into a numbered stall at Hill-Dale, and call us at 608-356-9433. We will take a history over the phone and you will hand your pet off to us for the appointment. After a doctor has evaluated your pet, they will call you to discuss the details and treatment plan.
Curbside is a slower process, which limits our efficiency. Staffing is a day-to-day challenge. Our goal is to stay open but as we have all learned, the situation is fluid and we want to keep everyone safe. It will take us longer to fill prescriptions or answer the phone. Bear with us while we take a little extra time to comfort your pet while he/she is away from you, and inside with us. We appreciate your patience as we navigate these challenges together.
Some preventative care/grooming appointments we will postpone until after 12/28/2020. We will do our best to see ill patients, urgent cases, and emergencies, providing the care you expect. We continue to offer telemedicine appointments, phone call assessments and will make deliveries in the immediate area as staffing allows. Our promise is to provide your pet with the same love and care they are used to receiving when you are in the room. We will open back up as soon as we feel we can.
Our team is grateful for the support we have received from you, and we will continue to work hard to meet your needs. Please take good care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Email me if you have questions or concerns; email@example.com
June 26th, 2020
We hope this email finds you healthy and well. We have decided to re-open Hill-Dale to the public in a limited capacity for pet care on July 1. Thank you for being patient with us while we transitioned to curbside care this spring. It was challenging for us and for you. We are grateful for everyone’s patience and continued support.
Our number one priority is to stay healthy so we can remain open. We want be there for you when you need us. Many of you have appreciated curbside care, and we will continue to offer it, should you prefer not to come in the building. We know that many of you want to be present while we examine your fur baby, so they will feel more secure, as well as to observe and ask questions while we work.
Starting July 1st;
- Only one person will be allowed in the building with their pet(s) for the scheduled appointment. This will allow us to maximize social distancing. Please send the person who is authorized to make decisions. No children will be allowed in at this time.
- You must not have had any of the following COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath) or been in contact with anybody that has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. If your pet needs to be seen, and you are ill or quarantined, call us to discuss. For wellness care, please reschedule until you are better.
- Our protocol will be as follows: call us when you pull into the parking lot to let us know you have arrived. You will be asked if you are currently experiencing or have recently experienced any of the known COVID-19 symptoms. If no, someone will escort you and your petto our lobby where you will have your temperature taken with a touchless thermometer. If your temperature is 100.4 F or below, you will be directed into an exam room. If your temperature is above 100.4 F, you will not be permitted in the building, but we will still be happy to do scheduled care while you wait outside. Please bring a mask if you intend to come in the building. You will be required to wear it while inside. You will not be permitted as a visitor if you do not have a mask.
- Our staff will wear PPE following CDC guidelinesand will sanitize between each appointment. We have installed touchless hand sanitizers and soap dispensers throughout the hospital to use as needed and to keep safe during your visit. Our front desk has a plexiglass barrier, and we are developing lobby workflow to allow everyone to keep social distance.
- All food and prescription pick-ups will remain curbside only at this time. Call us when you are in the parking lot; we will collect payment over the phone and bring your supplies out to you. We expect we will open the lobby for pick-ups after we assess how we are doing after July 1.
- We continue to offer curbside care, telemedicine appointments, drop-offs, and phone consultations daily, and we are happy to deliver food or meds to you within the immediate area if you are ill or unable to drive.
- We will make adjustments as recommendations evolve, and look for ways to improve our efficiency. Going back to curbside care only is a possibility, and will depend on state and county pronouncements and our internal discussions for staff/public safety.
Please reach out if you have questions or concerns. We have tried to be thoughtful with every step taken managing the practice, and keeping our client’s needs front and center. We appreciate your help and support. This has been an exhausting and stressful time for everyone; I am buoyed by the resilience of our community and for the strong bonds we have with you all. For myself and the Hill-Dale team, we look forward to seeing you in person soon!
May 22nd, 2020
We hope that you and your loved ones–both human and furry–are well. We feel the pain of the community struggling with the challenges of the past few months. We are grateful so many of you remain healthy, and our thoughts and efforts go to help those in need. We hope that the extra snuggles from your pets during these difficult times have been a silver lining, as they have been for us.
We want to thank you for your patience as we transitioned to curbside assistance and telemedicine. We are fortunate that we have been able to remain open normal hours. Your pets are getting special attention and treats as we continue to problem solve the best and safest ways to practice, while at the same time keeping them comfortable in our building without you present.We know that you want to be there to comfort them, ask questions, and see how we are operating.
As Wisconsin opens back up,our number one priority is to stay healthy so we can remain open, and keep you and your pets safe and well. We plan to continue curbside service for the next few weeks. We have not set a firm re-opening of the building to the public yet, as the state’s situation remains fluid. We are adding to our safety and sanitization protocols internally, and continuefollowing CDC guidelines for best practices. We will likely have some limitations to the public when we do reopen our building. Unfortunately, we are less efficient as a curbside model. It is not ideal for us or for you.
Please know that we discuss as a team our limitations and your concerns regularly. We are committed to delivering a best in class practice and will make changes as we see opportunities to improve.We remain able to see your pet for illness or emergency and are working back into wellness appointments and surgeriesas we are allowed by the state.
For now, we have the following available to you:
- Option to drop your pet off without additional costs to avoid waiting in parking lot
- Phone-call consults during exam with the customer service specialist, technician, and the veterinarian to fully address your concerns
- Refilling chronic medications for many conditions without requiring immediate bloodwork
- Telemedicine appointments with scheduled veterinarian phone call or Zoom
- Telemedicine fee can be applied to an in-person exam if needed.
- Mailing medicines or dropping them off for in-need owners
Please continue to give us feedback and to reach out to us with questions or concerns. We welcome your feedback via Facebook, Google message, email, or phone call.
We are grateful for this community, our collective good health, the friendship and love shown to us, and our ability to be able to care for our patients when they need us.
Mara Seals and the Hill-Dale Team
May 14th, 2020
As you have likely heard, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled and struck down Governor Evers’ Safer at Home Order extension via Emergency Order 28. The current situation is still changing daily, if not hourly and we must provide an environment that keeps our clients, pets, staff and doctors safe. We have been and will continue to follow CDC guidelines, but are also diligently working to prepare a plan for going forward and will update you as soon as possible. We ask for your patience and understanding. We are doing the best we can to accommodate all requests and are still very busy, since as we all know, our pets seem to pick the worst times to escape from the house or tip over that kitchen garbage can!
March 26th, 2020
Due to Governor Evers ‘safer at home’ edict, we are closing our lobby to the public.
We are open normal hours for business. We are available if you have a sick dog or cat or an emergency. We are allowed to practice preventative care (i.e. rabies vaccines, puppy/kitten vaccines) to protect animal and human health. We will work you in to our schedule if you need us each day. We ask for your patience, as curbside care does not allow us to be as efficient and rapid as regular practice.
We continue to practice elevated sanitation guidelines as recommended by the CDC to keep us all safe. If you are able to sanitize your pet’s carrier, collar, or leash with an alcohol based product before coming in, we would sure appreciate it.
If you need veterinary care for your pet but you are ill, please call ahead to let us know. We would ask you to send a representative in your place. We will call you by phone to make sure you are kept informed and able to make all necessary decisions.
We are also offering telemedicine to current clients with pets we have previously examined. We are using the Zoom application to video chat or the good ol’ telephone if you prefer. Telemedicine is not preferable to an in person exam but these are not normal times and we want to be available for you.
We will stay in touch by email and on our webpage and Facebook page as things evolve. I speak for everyone at Hill-Dale to say thank you for supporting us, and please stay well.
March 20, 2020
Dear clients and friends,
Things are changing so fast. The letter posted Monday felt right when it was sent out, but as this pandemic overtakes our way of life, we find we need to adapt as well. With respect for you, and our mutual love of animals, we have updated our policy below.
We are still open and are considered an essential business by the state. If your dog or cat is ill, or has an emergency, we are here to help you. Call us at (608)356-9433. We continue our elevated protocols for sanitization and well-being for staff and the public. Our preference is to implement curbside assistance for appointments, where we obtain your information over the phone, one of our staff takes your pet from the car to be evaluated inside while you wait outside. If this is not possible, we would prefer only one owner in the exam room with us. If you are sick, please send a representative in your place. We will call you to make sure we have all the information we need.
We are assuming the state will soon issue a shelter in place order very soon. When this happens (or sooner) we will have to shut our lobby to the public. We will remain open for business but will conduct ALL exams either by curbside assistance or telemedicine. We will bring food and medications out to you in the parking lot when you call us. Depending on our day to day schedule, we can arrange local delivery if it isn’t safe for you to come to Hill-Dale.
We continue to ask for your patience while we work through these changes. Please contact us if you have questions.
On a personal note, this week has been particularly heartbreaking. I am sad for all the workers untethered from the ability to earn money, the businesses who like me are wondering if they can stay afloat, my staff who I love and want to protect and keep whole, my clients who I can’t hug when they are suffering. I do not feel sorry for my patients who are happily receiving the benefit of our enforced confinement, give them all a hug for me. Be safe.
March 16, 2020
To our Clients and Friends;
We are taking seriously our responsibilities to you and your pets during the COVID-19 pandemic. The link below answers what we know about the virus and pets as of today. Stay in touch with us as information will change as we move through the next several weeks.
We are planning to be open regular hours and staffed as we are able.To that end, we have instituted procedures at HillDale to keep you and our staff as safe as possible. Our goal is to stay open and be available to help you, if need us. To that end we are;
- Stopping handshaking and maintaining social distance – We will greet you, maintain a discrete distance, “air” elbow bump you, fawn all over your pet, but we won’t touch you otherwise for our mutual benefit.
- Washing hands regularly – We are always cleaning and sanitizing, but we have stepped up the frequency. Our computers, credit card terminals, door knobs, shelves, tables, equipment, etc. are wiped before and after each use. We have plenty of gloves, facial tissue and handsanitizer at the front desk for your comfort. Ask us if you need something. Please consider using the tap and pay feature on our credit card terminal when checking out. We are also happy to check you out in the exam room.
- Minimizing waiting room time – We will try to get you in a room as soon as possible to limit your exposure to our public areas.
- Scheduling drop-off pet visits or parking lot appointments are available – If your pet needs to be seen and you are sick, please send a representative in your place. If you are sick with COVID-19, tell us when you call so we can prepare. If this is not possible, we can accommodate you with drop offs or parking lot appointments. We will come out to the parking lot and take your pet for you. You can stay in the car or go home while we evaluate your pet. We can communicate by phone after the exam. We can also take your credit card information over the phone.
- Drive up to pick up medications and food – Call us and we’ll bring food and medications to your car and charge your card over the phone. We can also mail medications to you.
- Instituting telemedicine – In certain situations,if you are sick, we may be able to help you over the phone without an in-person exam. This applies only to current clients with pets who have seen us in the last 12 months. Call our number, explain your concern to our client service specialist and we will schedule a phone appointment with one of our doctors. The charge is $50.
We will do our best to help you without bringing the pet in, but please understand that there may be situations where we must examine the pet. You will not be charged an additional exam fee, if this is the case. We will do our best to help you. There may be instances where we can deliver food or medications to you, if we have time/staff available. Sick staff members will stay home to minimize transmission to others. We are hoping that disruptions and wait times will be minimal and ask for your patience. Thank you for trusting us with your pets’ care and please contact us if you have questions.