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Free the Pets

A seemingly forgotten segment of our society that has had to face the most tyrannical of the COVID nonsense is our pets and most especially their owners. Owners trying to navigate a minefield of new rules and edicts while trying to have their sick or injured pets examined and treated, while veterinarians have practically stooped to extortion tactics to ensure compliance.

Veterinarians of all types, including allegedly “holistic” vets, closed their doors en masse and would not allow pet owners to come in with their pets. Many veterinarians actually shut down completely and were not even doing emergency services of any kind. The vets doing emergency services were overwhelmed with the resulting influx of new pet patients. The ones who are seeing pets require owners to mask up and stay in the parking lot. The vet assistants (also masked up) have to come to them to get their pets and take them inside for evaluation and treatment. I’m speaking in present tense, because with very few exceptions, this is still the case. All of this, in spite of the fact that pets have been completely unaffected by this alleged virus and most other businesses, at least for a time, stopped their mask and distancing mandates.

I have heard from countless pet owners that while they are very thankful for the knowledge and expertise of veterinarians, they find these edicts troubling at best and absolutely evil at worst. Even more so now that we are well over a year into this and not much has changed. How many owners have had to agonize over their beloved pet being euthanized by strangers, without their presence and comfort? It is unconscionable to me. What are they trying to hide? Why is there basically universal compliance on the part of all veterinarians to these edicts? Are they caving into COVID bribe money?

I have been a pet owner my entire life and find myself without one for the first time in my life. The dogs and cat, all rescues, all became seniors at the same time and crossed the Rainbow Bridge within a short time span. It was truly devastating to experience, and I miss them all terribly. I have to be honest in saying I am actually somewhat glad I haven’t adopted any new fur babies in the midst of this ridiculous situation and my heart completely goes out to those who have pets and are experiencing these completely unnecessary challenges.

The pictures here show the signs currently hanging in the windows of the Flathead Pet Emergency clinic in Evergreen. There were at least 3 occupied vehicles in the parking lot when I was there to take these pictures. There are 4 of these big, bright yellow signs in total. The third paragraph verbiage is especially troubling: “We will not tolerate or excuse verbal or threatened physical abuse.” Notice there are also signs about masks and “STAY in your vehicle.” There will always be rude jerks, but I think there is far more to these signs and verbiage than that.

My prevailing question is why on earth are pet owners still putting up with this nonsense? While I can appreciate that they want their pets to be seen, I cannot imagine ever being comfortable dropping off a pet and not being able to accompany them into the clinic and exam room. Many pets experience anxiety and the presence of the owner can be calming and helpful to the vet staff trying to do their jobs. Not to mention, how are owners able to explain to the actual vet what is going on without relying on secondhand reporting by overworked vet assistants that probably cannot reasonably recall half of what they were told? I may not be in veterinary medicine, but as a nurse, I understand that in the medical field in general there is a very important thing called standard of care. There is no reasonable way standard of care can adequately be met in these circumstances.

Where are the protests, letters to the editors, post on social media and any other means of getting the word out that they have drawn a line in the sand and enough is enough? I know one person who early on told her veterinarian that she would not wear a mask and recently insisted that she accompany her pets in the exam room. They allowed it and did not push back. One person out of the countless people I know who have pets. Perhaps many have but were bullied or silenced or their posts were deleted by “fact checkers.” Or they found a rare veterinarian who has relaxed the tyrannical rules, at least for now.


  1. Dave Dave August 29

    We switched to Ponderosa Vet for this reason and we’re very happy with them.

    • Julie Martin Julie Martin Post author | August 30

      Thank you, Dave! Very happy to hear there are Liberty-minded vet clinics here in the Flathead.

  2. Jen B Jen B August 30

    I experienced this with my dog Gunner. During the lockdowns, he ended up having a really bad ear infection. His vet (who is more on the holistic side) stopped seeing patients except for emergencies. I tried to get him into different vets, but none were seeing new patients, except one, which had a 2 week waiting list. I also wasn’t about to take him to some vet I didn’t know and not be able to go in with him. I had to doctor him myself, and thankfully he recovered. It was a ridiculous situation that pet owners were put into.

    • Julie Martin Julie Martin Post author | August 30

      Thank you, Jen. It truly has been ridiculous and incredibly stressful for so many & their pets.

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