COMMENT | Dr. Olivia Aketch | While running one of my day to day veterinary clinic routines recently, I received an urgent transaction. In a bid to meet my patient’s point of care therapeutic levels, I jumped on to a boda since the rains had hit so hard through the night before, that my car failed to start – for reasons only mechanics may understand in depth.
As I closed in on the journey an urgent supervisory call also came through requesting that I confirm a transaction through a bank. So I rerouted my journey to the nearest banking hall.
I greeted the officials at the entrance. “Good morning officers,” I said with a broad smile. All I got was a gloomy good morning response, which indicated the ‘FRIEND’ I was moving with was not welcome.
So I quickly inquired if I could get in the hall with HER , to which a medium dark complexed lady chuffed, “No way. Those things can’t be with people, put it out here and go bank.”
Astonished, I looked at her and sighed, wondering if their bank had a guide on the handling of pets while the client is at the hall. It is at this point that an elderly security officer emerged and calmly guided.
“We do not have any guiding policies on pet handling while the client carries out the banking. But I can stay with your friend as you go bank. Those things are very tough they can just bite you while you sit by,” the officer warned.
Another youthful security officer, rushed into the hall and returned with a form for me to fill, to which I thankfully did. He held my pet, and asked that I move into the hall.
I quickly dashed in and after three people were served I went to the counter to confirm my transactions. This took me roughly 15 minutes after which I dashed out to meet my FRIEND. She had peacefully dosed between the legs of the young officer. So I held her, and we left the premise for the clinic.
My wild mind has since been thrown into a frenzy, wondering if;
- we have guidelines for pet management in the corporate space
- the corporate world been supported with this information to serve their pet tagging clients with satisfaction?
- clients who have pets get the appropriate care and handling that meets their needs?
- banks don’t lose clients who come with pets in the event that there are no guidelines known to these facilities.
Many corporate companies do not have a consideration for this and yet deal with people who use pets for health and social wellbeing, companionship, and animal-assisted therapy interventions. Many people are forcefully subjected to one or more hours without their pets whose effect on life is not documented.
Guidance is required from the veterinary professionals on the handling of pets in the corporate space to meet the need of the clients, company and enhance welfare of pets.
- Companies must include guidelines for pets belonging to owners who come to access their services.
- Boarding areas be gazette to temporarily hold pets as the clients finish business. This is a potential business model too.
- Pet behavior information be included as part of client information on the notice board to enhance welfare of clients and animals.
Dr. Aketch Olivia is a member of the Uganda Veterinary Association