COVID-19 CONCERNS: PET EMERGENCIES AND NONPROFIT IMPACT
DoveLewis’ 24/7 veterinary emergency and specialty hospital services will continue as normal, but the precautions are likely to have a lasting impact for the local nonprofit.
PORTLAND, Ore – In the midst of cautionary procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital’s 24/7 medical services will remain available to animals in need.
“It’s our responsibility to stay open for animals and their families in an emergency,” said Ron Morgan, DoveLewis President and CEO, “but it’s also our responsibility to protect people: our staff, clients, and our community at large.” To do that, the organization implemented measures to reduce contact between community members, including cancelling the Wet Nose Soirée, the nonprofit’s animal-studded gala and largest fundraiser of the year.
A digital auction will be held in its place in April, but the financial impact could be significant. The event had a goal of raising $340,000 to help support the 46-year-old nonprofit’s operations and community programs, including financial aid to low income families and medical aid for abused animals, stray animals, and wildlife.
“We don’t know the long-term impact it will have on animals and families who need us, and we won’t be the only nonprofit facing such challenging decisions,” said Morgan. The organization is working closely with its Board of Directors, event sponsors, and long-time supporters to launch alternative fundraising initiatives to relieve the gap that the event’s cancellation could create. Morgan said, “We’re following the advice of the experts and hoping that our supporters will rally behind us.”
In addition to implementing social distancing precautions, DoveLewis is encouraging families to plan for the health and safety of their pets. With ill family members, school cancellations, and changing work environments, a pet’s health could be at risk.
Planning for a Pet Emergency
- Emergency care contact: In the event of an emergency, consider a friend or family member who can care for your pet. DoveLewis’ medical team members can update you on your pet’s condition and get consent on treatment options over the phone, or you can provide a signed document designating that person with the authority to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf.
- Veterinary availability: Research nearby emergency veterinary hospitals and their current hours. DoveLewis is open 24 hours a day and is located at 1945 NW Pettygrove St., Portland, Oregon 97209
- Pet Food and Medication: Evaluate your current stock of pet food and medication to ensure your pet’s wellbeing in case you are unable to leave your house or your local pet food store or clinic adjusts its hours.
- Home environment: An altered schedule at home can cause stress to manifest in a variety of ways, including vomiting and gastrointestinal issues. Create a “safe, quiet zone” for your pets where they can relax.
- Identification: Any time a pet’s routine is changed dramatically, it can cause stress and increase the risk of flight. Make sure your pet’s tags and microchips are up to date.
- Stay up-to-date: According to the CDC, there is no current reason to believe that pets will become ill or spread COVID-19, but it’s important to stay up-to-date on recent findings for the sake of people and pets both.