Two weeks into Northern Virginia’s reopening under Phase 2, veterinary offices are still seeing a steady stream of the new pets in need of routine care.
“We’ve definitely noticed a lot of people adopting pets,” said Sarah Angermeier, a veterinary assistant and receptionist at the Oakton-Vienna Veterinary Hospital. “It’s a blessing. We have so many puppies right now.”
Angermeier mentioned that appointments are filling up to a week-and-a-half in advance.
“We book up so fast now,” she said, adding that the dogs are more rambunctious after being stuck at home for weeks.
The Vienna Animal Hospital has also noticed similar trends. They reported that the number of appointments and the number of people adopting pets have “skyrocketed.”
In the spring during the strictest point of the coronavirus stay-at-home order, pets were the big winners as people rushed to get stay-at-home companions. Places like Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in Falls Church have seen a large increase in cat and dog adoptions — compared to April 2019, adoptions went up about 60% in late April of this year, according to Lost Dog.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, one of the leading organizations providing guidance to veterinarian practices, precautionary strategies — like the ones in Northern Virginia — are making visits safer.
“Veterinary practices have made tremendous changes to ensure patients continue to receive essential veterinary care and new safety measures are implemented to protect team members and clients,” said the AVMA in an April 2020 survey of U. S. veterinarians.
The Vienna Animal Hospital, for example, has taken added precautionary measures such as increased sanitation; requiring masks and gloves; and making a switch to curbside appointments to decrease contact. Currently, owners are not allowed in the building.
Similarly, the Oakton-Vienna Veterinary Hospital has been using teleconferencing to hold appointments. Owners drive their pets to the practice and wait in their cars, talking on the phone with doctors while the pets are cared for inside.
However, as of a week ago at Oakton-Vienna, one owner at a time is allowed inside the building with their pet. In addition, the practice has crews deep-cleaning the hospital.
According to the AVMA survey, other adjustments include contactless payment processing, taking patient history by phone or virtually and drive-thru pick up and drop off. About 30% of veterinary practices are using telemedicine and close to 20% of practices were only seeing emergency-related cases at the time of the survey.
The Oakton-Vienna Veterinary Hospital began using teleconferencing on March 2. “It was definitely an adapting period,” said Angermeier.
Cristal Wheeler, the office manager of the Animal Dental Clinic in Vienna, says that their office is also following a variety of new protocols.
“We’ve extended our cleanup after every patient to include where clients are sitting and touching,” said Wheeler. She mentioned handles and doors are high contact surfaces that are receiving extra sanitation.
As practices continue to pivot with the changing coronavirus pandemic, offices like Oakton-Vienna are staying focused on the mission — serving customers and taking care of pets.
“We’ve gotten thank-you notes for staying open during COVID. We’ve had a lot of really really grateful people.”
Photos via Oakton-Vienna Veterinary Hospital/Facebook
The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.
We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!
Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.
Tuesday (Dec. 3)
- Give a Little, Get a Snuggle — 4:30 until 7 p.m. at BrandBox in Tysons Corner Center — This event will allow people to play with adoptable puppies, that are all up for adoption. A $5 donation will go to the Wolf Trap Animal Rescue League and animals in need.
- Holiday Happy Hour — 6 to 8 p.m. at Urbanspace Tysons (2001 International Drive) — This free event offers snacks and drinks to attendees while they can take part in a meet and greet with Justin Schuble of @dcfoodporn. Tickets are expected to run out so people should reserve them beforehand.
Thursday (Dec. 5)
- Native Seed Swap — 7:30 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE) — This event allows community members to exchange seeds from native plants and listen to a talk from botanist Jay Lechtman. Even people without seeds are welcome to come and participate in this free event.
Friday (Dec. 6)
- Make Your Own Wreath and Bath Bomb — 9 until 11 a.m. at LUSH (1961 Chain Bridge Road, Unit #G7U) — Guests can create their own bath bomb and holiday wreath at this community event. Tickets are $75 and participants should register beforehand.
Saturday (Dec. 7)
- Local for the Holidays — 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Whole Foods Market (1635 Boro Place) — Whole Foods is hosting a pop-up that allows visitors to check out local products. This free event will feature music by Brendan Schnabel Music and free gift wrapping.
- Wakefield Park Holiday Art and Craft Show — 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE) — This event will feature crafts. Admission is $2 for adults and free for kids under age 12.
Sunday (Dec. 8)
- Wonderland of Wishes — noon to 2 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton (1700 Tysons Blvd) — This fundraiser will benefit the Make-A-Wish® Foundation — Mid-Atlantic. Guests can enjoy food and drink while watching models introduce the latest Lilly Pulitzer styles. There will also be raffles and giveaways. Tickets start at $150 for adults.
Photo via Photo by Duffy Brook/Unsplash
This Saturday, there will be a puppy party at Tysons Corner Center.
“Come by and meet some of the adorable faces that have been rescued, hear their story, and you’ll be sure to get quite a few licks in exchange,” a WTAR press release said.
The event will take place in BrandBox’s community lounge on the first level of Tysons Corner Center. Admission is $5 and will act as a donation to WTAR.
WTAR helps to find reliable and safe homes for shelter animals in the Northern Virginia region.
The puppies at this event will be available for adoption at WTAR’s “Clear the Shelters” event on Saturday, Aug. 17.
“This nationwide event has assisted in finding homes for more than 250,000 pets since 2015,” the press release said.
DC SIR is planning a nature hike at Turkey Run Park in McLean from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. At least four adoptable shibas are planning to attend.
The adoption event is public with no paperwork required.
According to Nathalie Abutaha, president and founder of DC SIR, the group holds monthly adoption events at local boutique pet stores, but the group wanted to try something new for the more shy dogs:
These small spaces can be overwhelming to our shy and fearful dogs. Typically, our more fearful dogs would forgo the busy and crowded monthly events, and they would only have one or two meets with final applicants at their foster home. However, we thought this would be an excellent way for the public to meet some of our rescues who are typically too fearful or stressed to attend the monthly events. Nature walks are beneficial to dogs and people, plus we can create a positive experience and have fun with our dogs while meeting new people. Our Organization regularly does monthly adventures for our alumni (kayaking, hiking, camping, etc.,) but we thought we could try a public hike for our potential adopters.
Photo via DC SIR/Facebook
Donors must complete a screening process at one of the centers to be eligible for the giveaway.
This weekend also marks the debut of Peter Pan, a play presented by the Vienna Theatre Company. The production will run through Feb. 3, with 8 p.m. showings this weekend tonight and tomorrow. Tickets are $14.
Tomorrow (Jan. 19)
- Mosaic District Polar Plunge Festival (10 a.m.-3 p.m.) — A plunge into a frigid pool set up in Merrifield will help raise money for the Special Olympics. For $100, participants will take a dive into the cold water. Divers are requested to get decked out in their wildest costumes to claim the title of “best-dressed plunger.”
- Foster-Adoption Event at Pet Valu Rescue (12-3 p.m.) — For anyone in the market for a German Shepherd, the Shenandoah Shepherd Rescue will be hosting an adoption event at 3069 Nutley St. The Rescue organization takes in dogs from high-kill shelters in Texas and other states and finds them homes elsewhere. Volunteers will also be collecting shoes for the fundraiser, so bringing slightly worn shores to donate is encouraged.
- Antonelli San Marco Tasting (1-4 p.m.) — The McLean Wine Outlet at 6727 Curran St will briefly be transformed Central Italy tomorrow for a wine tasting. The drink of choice is Sagrantino from the village of Montefalco, which is said to have rich flavors of cherry and blackberry. The second event will be on Monday, from 1-2 p.m.
Sunday (Jan. 20)
- Parkinson’s Moving Day Event (12-1 p.m.) — Cycle Chi in Vienna (221 Mill St) is hosting two fundraisers for The Parkinson’s Foundation. A minimum donation of $25 per bicycle, per hour is requested with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the charity. The event will also include free chair massages, raffles, cocktails and more.
- Liner Notes (2 p.m.) — The recently renovated Alden Theatre at 1234 Ingleside Ave in McLean will host a musical mix of jazz and hip hop in a celebration of the civil rights movement. Tickets are $15 for McLean residents, $25 for adults and children, and $20 for seniors.
Photo via Facebook
New Alcohol Policy for Fairfax Parks — “The Fairfax County Park Authority has updated its policy on the use of alcoholic beverages in county parks, allowing for expanded alcohol consumption under specific conditions… [this] comes in response to an increasing number of requests for alcohol use at park facilities for gatherings and events of all types.” [Fairfax County]
GOP Going Extinct in Fairfax — “The loss of two-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock (D-10) means Republicans are down to one lone elected official in Northern Virginia, Del. Tim Hugo (R-40). The blue wave that started last year unseating Republicans like Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-67) and Del. Bob Marshall (R-13) continued this year, when state Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-10) was able to flip a seat that had been in Republican hands since… 1980.” [Connection Newspapers, NPR]
Nov. is Adoption Awareness Month — Fairfax County is marking Adoption Awareness Month this month. There are currently 196 children in foster care in the county. [Fairfax County]
Mike Tyson Still Dominates ‘Tysons’ Headlines — Although he’s been retired from professional boxing since 2006, Mike Tyson still pops up almost daily for anyone who has set a Google Alert for news about “Tysons.” [Twitter]