Lynda Gould, Class of 2014, is the owner of Ashton Animal Clinic, with locations in Ashton and Kaneville, IL. The animal clinic is a mixed animal practice. Gould reports during this COVID-19 pandemic the practice has drastically reduced their services to only urgent, emergency, or food production care, as recommended by public health veterinarians.
Staffing is minimal in order to achieve social distancing. The staff has divided into three ‘teams’ so if one team is sick or quarantined, the other two teams can continue to serve their clientele. Pet appointments in the office are curbside pickup only, so a pet owner is not allowed in the building for staff protection. Even with reduced services, the short-staffed teams have been working overtime in order to serve their clientele, with many emergency surgeries like Caesarians and pyometra spays lately.
Medical supplies are sometimes becoming hard to procure, but Gould is hopeful the clinic can make it work. While she recognizes her staff is not faced with highly infectious patients like their human health counterparts, they do interact with the public every day and put their own health at risk to do so. Gould notes nearly every veterinary staff in the state is in the same situation.
Gould notes she is grateful to be considered an ‘essential worker’ and is allowed to stay open during this time. The veterinary field, in general, has been under-recognized recently for the role they play in public health, food production, as well as pet health; all while putting themselves at great personal risk both physically and financially. Gould realizes this has always been true, and always will be true, but it somehow seems more emphasized lately.