Veterinary services still offered during coronavirus pandemic, but distancing measures in place

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Kassidy Lessard heard her young dog Poet shrieking in pain and knew immediately the Chihuahua-mix rescue would require emergency care.

The uncertainty of how to proceed – and what would await them at their local emergency vet – made an already stressful situation much more difficult for the Barrie, Ont., woman.

“The whole thing was just terrifying, honestly,” Lessard said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press.

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Poet, an approximately three-year-old dog who was rescued by Lessard through a Texas-based organization 18 months ago, was dashing down the stairs one night last week when she mistimed a jump from three steps up and landed awkwardly on a tile floor, breaking the radius and ulna in her right front leg.

Lessard took Poet to the closest 24-hour animal care clinic immediately. But with veterinarians doing what they can to maintain social distance during the COVID-19 outbreak, the pair was instructed to wait in the parking lot before the dog could be seen.

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When Poet’s turn came, Lessard handed her to a care team member who was wearing gloves and a mask, through a door opened just wide enough to pass her through.

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