VIP Petcare’s Community Wellness Clinics Offer Convenience, Affordability and Caring
A nervous grey, shorthaired, domestic tabby kitten named Nuage shivered on the steel-topped exam table, that is until Dr. Katryna Fleer picked him up and hugged him cozily. Then all seemed right in his little world. Large and small, old and young, all the dogs and cats brought to the VIP Petcare clinic, including Callie, Milo, Daisy, Rex, and Lilly, left that day left feeling a little bit better from the experience.
Making preventive healthcare available and convenient for all pet owners, with a goal to keeping pets happy and healthy is the mission of VIP Petcare’s Community Wellness Clinics.
VIP Petcare was proud to be a national sponsor of the annual “Clear the Shelters” campaign held August 19, 2017.
Find a Local Clinic
Every month, a number of VIP Petcare Wellness Clinics are held at client partner stores throughout our community, including Pet Valu and Tractor Supply Company. Visit the store to register your dog or cat and pay any related fees. The wellness visit itself is free, but there will be a small charge for vaccines, chip implants, or other services your pet may need. Enter your zip code into the “Find a Clinic” section of the VIP Petcare website to locate a mobile clinic near you.
Then step outside into the mobile facility van where a dedicated staff and a veterinarian await. For safety, only one pet at a time is allowed into the examination van.
The roomy vans are fully equipped with generators, coolers, running water, air conditioning, and emergency equipment. Just like a tiny exam room on wheels, there is a sanitized table, equipment drawers, and trained staff available to assist the licensed veterinarian.
After a brief introduction to your pet and quick review of its electronic records, the veterinarian performs a “nose to tail” diagnostic check throughout the pet’s entire body, looking for things like runny eyes, signs of discomfort, or obvious masses in the abdomen. Then, if vaccines are due, they are administered. Routine blood checkups, microchip implants (only $19 for a lifetime registration), and even nail trimming (at some locations) can also be performed.
Safety is always top of mind, for both the pet and clinic workers. “Most of the animals we see are so sweet, but if necessary, we can use safety equipment like cat gloves and muzzles for aggressive or overly anxious dogs (that the owners are asked to apply), or a towel wrap, a common technique with cats,” explained Dr. Fleer, DVM and medical director for VIP Petcare. “We also have the right to turn away someone if their dog is aggressive, but that happens very rarely. In an office setting, a veterinarian may be able to give a sedative, but we can’t do that here in the clinic.”
Convenient and Affordable Pet Care
“Our community clinics are here to serve people who perhaps don’t have a full-service vet, or those who need convenience in their vet care,” Fleer said. “People can come to a clinic on an evening, or a Saturday or Sunday, and while they’re here, get their dog or cat’s vaccines and pet food at the same time.”
“The fact that we don’t charge an office visit is also big advantage for many people because it lowers the overall cost of the ability to have a pet,” she explained while tickling behind a dog’s ears.
Dr. Mark Bugin, DVM was also on hand for this day’s clinic. Now retired from a full-time clinic, he works almost every weekend at a VIP Petcare event and up to three clinics during the week. “What I like is being able to find occasional things that even the owners aren’t aware of before they become problems. With my experience, I can advise them to see their primary veterinarian to have it checked out.”
Behind the scenes, a full staff attends to each VIP Petcare clinic, including a rig supervisor, cashier, and a clinic assistant who are cross-trained to help with all jobs. Rita Madrid, the brand ambassador for Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, oversees the relationships between VIP Petcare and the sponsoring stores, and provides information about the clinics to the public.
“We provide the resources that make it affordable for everyone to have pets,” Madrid said. “We also help to keep our community safe. For example, some people bring in feral cats and pay for their vaccines out of their own pockets.” Look for tent signs and notices for upcoming clinics in your area.
Each VIP Petcare’s Community Wellness Clinic offers:
- Licensed veterinarian available at every clinic
- No office exam fee
- Highest-quality vaccines
- Lifetime registration for microchips
Healthy and Happy Pets
The overall goal of the community clinics is to monitor the health of a healthy pet, provide current vaccines, and prevent diseases from occurring. In addition to receiving core and noncore vaccines, pets can be tested for heartworm, intestinal parasites like roundworm or tapeworm, tickborne diseases, feline immunovirus AIDS (VIF), and feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Owners can get their pet vaccinated against things like leptospirosis and purchase their preventive medicines and flea and tick control products while they’re there.
Currently, VIP Petcare’s wellness clinics are held in thirty states throughout the U.S., with plans to expand into additional regions. How important is wellness for pets? “It is critical, and when we do it now, we can prevent disease in the future, keeping your pets happy and healthy throughout their lifetime,” Fleer said.
Each of the pet parents that attended today’s clinic was well pleased with the quality of care and expertise provided to their pets. All left with instructions on future care and plans to return.
All photos credit: Linda Barrett