While most of our clients are extraordinarily understanding and grateful for our feline specialty care during this time of COVID social distancing, we must also report multiple instances of unnecessarily harsh (and inappropriate) behavior toward our valued and dedicated staff. Most often, when impatience gets the best of us, we aren’t fully aware of the full picture around us, or there are simply misunderstandings. We are all experiencing frustration, especially when a beloved pet needs our care. To help, we want to take this opportunity to give you more insight into how and why we are doing our best – for you, for our team, and most importantly, for our patient cats.
Just Cats is launching Project Kindness to remind everyone who comes into contact with our clinic – vendors, clients and others – that we care for and respect our great staff. Just as you would do for your own “family” we won’t tolerate anything other than kindness towards our team.
Veterinary clinic teams across the country, like at Just Cats, are reporting irregular feelings of burn out in the context of the COVID pandemic. While highly trained, they may be feeling overwhelmed by the continuously growing number of sick cats, piled on top of their own individual related stresses, from children learning at home or a sick family member, to reduced hours and paychecks. When they are then faced with an aggressive, rude or disrespectful phone call or in-person confrontation, they may be more affected than under normal circumstances. We are all working hard toward the same goal – the best care for our felines – doing our best in unprecedented times.
Our team has worked non-stop since the beginning of the pandemic to bring excellent care to every cat we can. We have continuously gone above and beyond, working within mandated restrictions, at times putting ourselves and our families at risk to live up to our personal and practice missions. We have drastically changed our protocols and procedures to be the safest possible, and we are doing everything we can to make it as easy as possible for our clients.
We are in the business of providing the best medical care for feline pets. That is our purpose and passion. However, unlike human hospitals, we do not receive state or federal money to contribute to our costs and expenses, including maintaining a highly trained staff.
Just like human hospitals, we have had evolving rules and protocols to follow throughout this pandemic. Yet, our staff has been accused of being “money hungry,” not caring, or “putting a cat in danger” because we cannot provide our services without charging the necessary fees. You can only imagine how hurtful this must be to anyone in the animal care industry.
We understand that these are very stressful times for us all. Project Kindness is launched to bring awareness that patience and kindness are powerful, effective, and certainly most appreciated approaches to our frustrations, disappointments and challenges. We continue to be committed to adjusting our practice to bring you the best care possible during this pandemic. Likewise, we ask that every member of our team is treated with the kindness and respect they deserve: receptionists, assistants, technicians and veterinarians.
Project Kindness can be a model for our region and the nation by reminding us all that every individual (and animal) we come in contact with is likely to be suffering some amount of COVID-related stress. Now more than ever, a little extra kindness will go a long way.