JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Plexiglass partitions between clients and staff, marks on the floor six feet apart and an outdoor check-in station for clients are just some of the changes staff at First Coast No More Homeless pets have made at its two vet locations.
"We are one of the largest safety-net hospitals in our region and we know that clients need us now probably more than ever," Chief Operating Officer of No More Homeless Pets Jennifer Barker said.
According to Barker, the staff is also encouraging clients to wait in their cars until they get a text or call that the vet is ready to see their pet. Barker said they've seen an increase in clients during the pandemic.
"That partly is a result of other veterinary practices that have had to restrict some of their hours or close down completely, so we are seeing more clients that need us," she said, "and also, just with all of this economic hardship, now more than ever people need access to affordable veterinary care."
Barker says No More Homeless Pet's mission is to provide affordable vet care to clients and help them work out payment plans if they can't afford bills. She said that's happening more and more thanks to COVID-19's impacts.
"Most people consider pets as part of their family, so we want to make sure we’re able to provide whatever care they need so that way they’re getting the pet back at home with their family," Barker said, "because, right now the companionship they’re providing is so important for families during this time."
Barker said she expects the demand for their vet services to increase even more over the next few months. No More Homeless Pets has two locations, one located on Norwood Avenue open nine a.m. to six p.m. each day, and one on Cassat Avenue open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.