North Star Veterinary Clinic in Kimberley remains open after being considered an essential service by the Provincial Government. Nieva Burns photo.

Veterinary clinics considered essential services, continue to help animals

The B.C. government recently released an official list of businesses that are able to remain open as essential services during the coronavirus pandemic. The list includes veterinary clinics and Dr. Kathryn Arbic of North Star Veterinary Clinic says she was happy to get that clarification.

READ MORE: Here’s what is considered an essential service in B.C.

“It’s really great news that we’re being considered an essential service, it means that we get to keep doing our work without fear of being shut down,” Arbic said. “We just want to keep helping animals as best we can.”

Arbic explained that remaining open does necessitate modified work protocols.

“We’re basically only here for essential services so we’re modifying what animals we’re letting through the door,” she said. “We’re only seeing patients that absolutely, positively need medical care right now.”

She also added that their supplies are short so they must be mindful of that, meaning they’re limiting surgery procedures to those that absolutely have to happen.

Otherwise, she said that her staff is healthy and fit for work so they’re going to continue working.

However, she did note it would be helpful if people would disclose to them if they’re in isolation or quarantine themselves, as patrons haven’t been sharing those details with staff so far.

“I mean, the pets aren’t coming down with it but it can still be a fomite (a carrier of infection), they can still carry something, so it’s still important for us to know if the people handling the animals are at all worried about their own health,” Arbic explained. “They need to disclose that to us.”

She said that right now is also a great time to follow them on Facebook at for any resources and updates from the clinic.

Steeples Vet Clinic in Cranbrook is also operating and you can follow their updates at


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