WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Some local veterinarian clinics and pet boarding facilities like Pet Paradise in Winter Garden remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say their jobs are essential, especially for pet parents who are first responders and health care professionals.
"They're working 12-hour shifts and they can't have people coming in and out of their homes. This is critical, even from the veterinarian side of it. It's their family members. I can't imagine that with everything they're doing for everybody else, that nobody's there for their pets," said Dr. Jaime Pickett.
Pickett is the Chief Veterinarian Officer for Pet Paradise Resorts. In response to COVID-19, she says their company has transitioned to curbside drop-off and pick-up for their boarding, day camp and veterinarian services to limit contact. They also offer discounts for first responders and health care professionals.
Pet Paradise also offers 24-hour surveillance so owners can keep an eye on their pets from a distance. Dr. Pickett says the number one question she’s been getting is, “can a pet transmit COVID-19 to people?”
“The Veterinarian Medical Association, as well as disease experts, agree that COVID-19 is not transmittable between animals,s including people. We assure them they’re safe from their pets. They can’t give something to their pets, their pets can’t give something to them. There’s no evidence out there at this point,” said Dr. Pickett.
She still advises people to follow healthy habits and hygiene around pets and other animals. Other local veterinarians are following suit, offering curbside service and changing their hours.
Local veterinarians want to remind pet owners to keep up with their pet’s vaccinations during this time. They also want pet owners to call them if you have any questions about the health of their animals.