We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.
It was with sadness that I read the story of a Mississauga family that lost their beloved pet to a coyote attack. My wife, Dr. Buller and I have been much luckier but we ourselves have now experienced, at close hand, two attempted attacks on our own puppy while walking the park system in Brampton. These coyotes are bold and each time worked in pairs. Silently they got within 20 feet of us before we even noticed them. Each time I had to charge them back into the bushes away from my family.
The other night my wife had a strong inclination to carry a Bo with us on our late evening walk with the pup. She felt silly taking it along, but felt that strong inner voice insisting that she should. A Bo is a five- foot wooden pole that we both trained with during our karate years. We were concerned that the coyotes may not back off next time and, much like the Mississauga family, we would be devastated if anything happened to our wonderful pup, “Skye “. The walk was uneventful, but when we arrived back to our driveway we both noticed a racoon approaching us in a direct line. It was interesting at eighty feet away, but worrisome at 60 feet, then 40 feet, then 20. He kept approaching us. At the ten-foot mark, it was obvious that he was intent on reaching us. His determination was completely abnormal. I pushed him gently away three times with the Bo, but he had other plans. My wife rushed Skye into the house so that I could now back away from the racoon. At that point he switched directions came for me from between two parked cars. I pushed him away one last time and backed into our house. You can imagine my surprise when he came up the stairs of our home and tried to get in the front door. Eventually he gave up and left. Racoon rabies is highly likely.
In one month, we have been charged by two coyotes on two separate occasions and stalked by a potentially rabid racoon. If your pet is not up to date on his or her vaccines, especially the Rabies component, we strongly suggest that you rectify this as soon as possible. I always thought that walking our pet in a park would be a happy form of relaxation. Lately it has been an exercise of super awareness because of possible threats coming from beyond the brush line. Be aware of this changing reality and report to the local animal control offices any such experiences especially those involving abnormal behavior in racoons.
We are all aware of the concerns and rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. Due to the close public contact that our work requires, we have taken necessary measures to protect our clients, our staff and work hard to ensure we can continue to provide excellent care for our patients.
The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:
1. If you have travelled outside Canada or come in contact with anyone who has travelled outside Canada in the past 3 weeks, or if you are feeling unwell, (coughing, fever, fatigue, etc.), please contact our clinic. We will be more than happy to reschedule your appointment or help arrange to see your pet safely.
2. We are currently operating a "closed-door" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 905-285-0002. We will take a history by phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet and you will get another call from the Doctor to discuss our recommended treatment plan.
3. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.
4. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm & Saturday from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm.
5. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 4-6 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment from your vehicle.
6. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.
7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.
Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.
Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital