What’s Up with Napa Humane?
by Wendi Piscia | May 21st, 2020 | 1:05 pm
As you probably know, Napa Humane suspended all clinic activities when the Shelter-in-Place order was issued. Given the critical shortage of PPE and intubation-related drugs at the time, veterinary professionals around the country advised suspending spay/neuter surgeries in order to conserve the drugs and PPE for use with coronavirus patients, should the need arise. We temporarily shut our Clinic’s doors, but we stayed vigilant following developments at the national level – attending weekly virtual meetings with national animal welfare organizations and shelter medicine veterinarians to discuss how best to proceed with business operations.
Earlier this month, experts in our field provided guidelines on how to re-open spay/neuter clinics once local governments permit non-essential businesses to resume operations. As with other businesses, it’s a tiered approach that ensures social distancing practices can be maintained at each stage. This includes implementing procedures like curbside drop-off, requiring employees and clients to wear masks, limiting the number of people in the clinic at one time, offering appointments for vaccinations (rather than the drop-in clinic we used to have), and more intensive cleaning regiments.
As Napa County starts to lift restrictions, our team has been meeting regularly to discuss our protocols and plans as the order evolves. Though we’ve had to remain closed to the public, we were able to resume spay/neuter surgeries for area shelters and rescue groups to catch up with that backlog. This week, we started contacting individuals who’d had appointments with us when we had to close – prioritizing individuals who had multiple different-sex animals.
Our next phase will be to start offering first-time vaccinations for puppies and kittens, since they are most vulnerable to disease. These will be done by appointment only, and we are keeping appointments light to make sure our new preventative protocols are working as intended. As Napa continues to ratchet down the lockdown orders, Napa Humane will continue to expand our services.
Our donation-subsidized, less-than-cost services are needed now more than ever, as many pet owners in our community face new financial hardships. And we have some serious catch-up work to do, after suspending services for more than seven weeks!
The way we used to be able to offer some of our public services (particularly our drop-in vaccination clinics, walk-in availability of Advantage or Frontline, and ability to make appointments in person) probably won’t look the same in this post-coronavirus world. Safety is our number one priority – for the animals, our employees and the public – and as we find our way forward, we’ll make adjustments as needed to keep everybody safe, healthy, and humanely treated.
If you can spare a few dollars to support our efforts, we (and Napa’s neediest pets) would very much appreciate the help.