COVID-19

During this unprecedented time, the Village Veterinary Clinic of Hamburg will remain open for our community.  In New York State veterinarians have been deemed essential.  We are seeing emergency, sick, and other essential health visits per the guidelines put in place by the New York State governor’s office.  We will also continue to have surgery and physical therapy which is essential for our pet’s health.  

Our policies have changed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Until further notice, we are only allowing staff in the building.  For the time being our visits are now being done “curbside”.  

We are only allowing staff inside the hospital until further notice.  This not only protects the members of the VVC, but it also protects you- our clients.  This is the protocol that has been recommended by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), CDC, and other various veterinary organizations.  It is the only way to properly social distance.  

When you arrive for your appointment you will call the hospital (716-646-4023) to check-in.  You will also let us know what parking spot number you are in (they are all numbered for your convenience).  A veterinary technician will come out to retrieve your pet for their appointment.  The doctor will examine your pet and call you on your cell phone when they are done.  The front desk team will then cash you out over the phone.  

Please remain in your car for the entire visit.  This is to ensure that all staff and clients can remain safe.  Social distancing must remain intact even in the parking lot. 

We have had a VERY big increase in call volume.  Since we have transitioned to curbside, you now call to check-in and speak with the medical team.  Any transactions, appointments needed to be made or incoming emergency calls are creating our lines to becoming busy.  We are doing our best to alleviate this by using outside phone lines to call clients- please try to answer any “blocked” calls if you are here for an appointment or if you are awaiting a call back about a patient or emergency- it might be us!  We ask that you keep trying to call back- we are here!  Thank you for your patience.  

No, our hours are still the same.

We have a doctor available Monday-Saturday: 8 am-11 pm; Sunday: 8 am-6 pm

*We always have a veterinary technician and support staff available 24/7 for phone support and patient monitoring.  

#1 Bring your cell phone!

  • You will be using your cell phone to check-in for your appointment.  This is also how you will be communicating with the medical staff.  We will also only be taking payment over the phone. 
  • Please know what your cell phone number is- we write it on your file at check-in.
  • Please have your cell phone fully charged.  
  • Please try to avoid making calls while waiting, it can make it difficult for us to reach you.
  • To help free up our phone lines, we are also contacting you from other outside lines- please answer “blocked” calls during your appointments.  It might be us! 

#2 All dogs must be on a leash and all cats in a carrier

  • We do not want anyone chasing after that squirrel! 

#3 All clients must be wearing a mask

  • In New York State, if you are to go in public if is mandatory that you wear a mask.  We will have ours on, please wear yours. 

#4 Credit card, debit card, or care credit card

  • For health and safety reasons, we ask that you pay with a debit, credit, or care credit card. One of our staff members will take your payment over the phone.  No cash payments.  We are no longer accepting checks.  

Yes, please wear a mask.  It is mandated by Governor Andrew Cuomo that if you are in a public space and cannot safely social distance you must wear a mask.  Here at the VVC, we are trying to safely social distance, but we need to come to get your pet during an appointment and emergency and at times it is not possible to safely keep 6 feet apart.  To ensure our safety and yours, everyone should wear a mask.  

When you arrive for your appointment each parking spot is numbered.  When you call to notify the front desk you have arrived, you will let them know what number spot you are parked in.  Please remain in your car for the entire appointment.  You should not leave your car so that you can safely social distance from other clients.  

For fun, we have also put an animal on each sign with a fun fact about that animal!  We hope you enjoy! 

To help alleviate the phone congestion we are asking our clients to fill out their history prior to their appointments.  If you can fill out the form, print it out, and bring it with you to your appointment.  If there are additional questions, the medical team will discuss with you at your appointment.

We will only be accepting payment over the phone for all visits, surgeries, physical therapy sessions, technician visits, medications, and food orders.  For health and safety reasons, we ask that you pay with a debit, credit, or care credit card. One of our staff members will take your payment over the phone.  No cash payments.  We are no longer accepting checks.  

If your pet needs food or medication, please call ahead to order.  One of our veterinarians will approve your refill (if there is an issue, such as an overdue exam, we will contact you). When you come to pick up your medication or food you will pay over the phone.  We will bring everything out to your car and place all items in the trunk of your car.  We ask that you please wear a mask and do not exit your car.  

If you prefer not to leave the comfort of your home, we do have an online pharmacy we are associated with.  To order your pet’s food and medications, simply click on the link here: Vets First Choice Online Pharmacy

If you are sick, please stay home!

According to the CDC, the symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste, and smell.  Symptoms show up 2-14 days of exposure.  If you are displaying any of these symptoms, you should not bring leave your house- contact your doctor.

If you are sick- please stay home and notify us if your pet is ill.  

If you have been exposed to someone that is COVID-19 positive and your pet is ill, please notify us prior to bringing your pet in. 

If someone in your household is COVID-19 positive, please please notify us prior to bringing your pet in.

If you have traveled outside of Buffalo recently, please notify us prior to bringing your pet in. 

  • Practice “social distancing”
    • Stand 6 feet apart at all times
  • Wash your hands
    • Hand washing should be done 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday”)
    • Wash your hands OFTEN!
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • No handshaking
    • Use “elbow bump”, wave, or shake the dog’s paw!
  • Cough into your elbow or tissue (we understand not every cough means coronavirus)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Wear your mask when in public settings

For more information:

CDC- coronavirus

NYS- PAUSE

White House- coronavirus

Can I give my pet COVID-19?

Although there have been a few cases of dogs and cats testing positive in the US for COVID-19, the AVMA, CDC, and other veterinary organizations still have a firm stance that it is a very low possibility this will occur.  

Chickens and Pigs- no

Ferrets and cats- are susceptible, but very rare.  Mild respiratory signs are all that have been seen in the few cases.

Dogs- very rare.  They are seen as a “dead-end host”.  Meaning they are not able to pass it along to others. 

Pets do not play a role in the spread of COVID-19.  USDA, CDC, AVMA, and others are not recommending pets be tested for COVID-19 at this time.

Can my pet give COVID-19 to me?

There is still no reason to believe that you can get COVID-19 from your pet.  This is still just a human to human virus.  

What if I am sick and own a pet?

The CDC and AVMA both recommend that you separate yourself from your pet if you are experiencing symptoms or have been confirmed positive with COVID-19.  Although the risk of your pet contracting it from you is very rare, it is best not to chance it.  You should limit snuggling, petting, kissing, hugging, touching their food dishes, or being around them in general.  If you do need to interact with them you should wear a mask or wear gloves.  Wash your hand frequently.  Wash their dishes frequently.  

Should my pet wear a face mask in public?

No. Face masks may not protect your pet from the disease and may cause them to have difficulty breathing. 

Should I make preparations for my pet if I become sick?  

  • Ensure your pet has proper identification.  Their tags should be clearly visible and able to read.  Your address, name, and phone number should be up to date as well.
  • Your pet’s microchip information should be current and up to date.
  • You should designate a trusted caregiver (family member, friend, neighbor) in the event that you become ill.  If necessary they may need housekeys, know your emergency plans, and know your pet’s medical history.  
  • Have a record of your pet’s medical history available, any health issues they need to be aware of, as well as the contact information of your pet’s veterinarian.  
  • Be sure to have at least a two-week supply of food, any medications or supplements your pet may be on, and necessary supplies (for example litter or crate).  
  • Have a leash and harness available for your caretaker. 
  • Refill monthly medications for fleas, internal parasites, heartworm preventive, etc. if you are down to a two-week supply. 
  • Be sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations.
  • Have a record of all medications your pet is on (dosages, how often they are taken, and times).  

Can I take my dog for a walk?

Yes, you can still take your dog for a walk. This is great exercise.  You should ensure you are following proper social distancing.  Avoid crowded areas.  Uses a leash.  If you are sick, you should stay at home.  If you are going to walk, you should also wear a mask (since you are in public, this is a mandated order in NYS). 

Can coronavirus live on my pet’s fur?

Although the virus can live on various surfaces for several hours it has not been known to survive or live on pet hair for long.  If you are sick with COVID-19 the best option for your pet is to avoid contact.  

What can I do if my pet feels anxious?  How can I help them cope with being home or going back to work?

Our pets pick up on our stressful and worrying cues.  It is best to try and keep a routine.  If we are mentally and physically healthy, our pets will benefit.  If you note that your pet is displaying stressful, fearful, or even aggressive behavior you should contact your veterinarian.  

These behaviors can include eating things they shouldn’t, chewing (themselves or objects), scratching, barking, licking, urinating, or defecating in the house or outside their litter box, etc.  If you notice any changes in their normal behaviors such as eating, you should contact your veterinarian.  

It is helpful to keep a routine at home, similar to what you did when you were at work.  You may also consider taking a 15-minute drive a few times a week so that your pet gets used to you not being home.  

It is also a great time to teach them a new trick or start/continue with obedience training.  With many of us home, we can put more time into these types of activities.  If you have a pet at home with a phobia, you can even start to work conquering that.  You may need some guidance however from your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.  

USDA-coronavirus