When are we open?
Regular business hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:30pm. (These hours can vary occasionally, please confirm with reception if there is any question)
What about emergencies?
What about an emergency? We do not keep emergency hours but if you have a pre diagnosed pet who requires an emergency procedure after hours or on a Saturday or Sunday, we do have an emergency number you can call – (804) 420-2770. We cannot always pull together a team but if we can, we will!
A flat rate of $1,840.00 -including bloodwork for any procedure (other than a C-section) will be charged at time of drop off for any after hours surgery.
If a C-section is needed, the rates including bloodwork is $1,840.00 with spay or $3,645.00 without spay assuming our veterinarian is able to save the uterus – in some instances, the uterus can be compromised and an emergency spay may be required.
This does not include biopsy $144.00
If we come in for an after hours emergency, we only call in enough staff to get your pet through their surgery. While a lot of our clients take their pet’s home after surgery, we always recommend you transfer for overnight monitoring with your veterinarian or an emergency hospital at your expense. We are here to get your pet through the surgery and back into the hands of your full service veterinarian. We strongly recommend discussing follow up care with your primary veterinarian. In an ideal world surgery and aftercare would all be done at one facility with one head doctor following the case, however we completely understand this is not always possible. That is why we exist. The next best scenario would involve your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian being up to date on your plans and ensuring they are willing to continue following their care after surgery. We are just a piece of the puzzle.
Drop off/Pick up times
Drop off is at 7:30 AM. Plan to pick up your pet no later than 5 PM. Occasionally pets will be ready to go home sooner, but we are unable to promise an earlier pick up. Our receptionists work very hard during the day to be sure we can help others who also need us, so please rest assured you will be called if your pet is ready to go home earlier. Pets not picked up by 5:15pm will incur a staffing fee of $75 per 15 minutes.
What do I need to do to prepare my pet for its appointment?
For pets over 5 pounds, please make sure your pet does not eat anything after 10:00 PM the evening before, but it is okay to give water on the morning of your appointment. If your pet is 5 pounds or under, please give a small snack (3 pieces of dry food or 1 tsp of wet food) in the morning to prevent low blood sugar.
If they are dirty or have fleas, give them a bath. A dirty pet prior to surgery can lead to infection post- op. We do not have a bathing area. Your pet must arrive on a leash or in a pet carrier.
How do we keep our costs low?
We are a high quality pet surgery and pet dental care facility. We offer advanced surgeries at affordable prices. Because surgery and dental care are all we do, we are able to do a higher volume safely and efficiently.
We are a day facility meaning all of the pets arrive in the morning and all the pets go home in the afternoon on the same day. We do not offer office visits or consultations, since you already know what your pet needs. Since you are not meeting with the doctors, or having your pet hospitalized at Helping Hands, you are not being charged for these services, allowing us to keep our costs as low as possible.
What if my pet is sick?
If your pet is not feeling well you must visit your full service veterinarian first. If it is decided there is a surgical fix to what is going on, ask your veterinarian to fax us the notes. One of our receptionists will contact you to set up an appointment after our doctors have reviewed the notes.
Do I get to speak to the veterinarian on the phone or in person?
No. One of the ways we can keep our costs low is to cut out the office visits and consultations where additional fees and time would normally be incurred. When your pet arrives at Helping Hands you already know what they need. If it is a more detailed or challenging case, we have already received your full service veterinarian’s notes telling us what your pet needs and our doctors are just waiting in the back to get started.
How often does your pet need a dental? Take a look and smell. A good indication that your pet is in need of a dental cleaning would be bad breath and or tartar on the teeth. Another sign may be a pet who is chewing on one side or crying in pain while eating. You may feel more comfortable bringing your pet to your full service veterinarian prior to making an appointment to make sure a dental is the answer but in many cases this is not necessary. We have tried to make our prices as low as possible and we find we see many pets semiannually or annually for a dental cleaning to help maintain a healthy mouth.
The process itself… Your pet will be examined by one of our veterinarians before being sedated and all teeth cleaned. The veterinarian will do a thorough oral exam, extracting loose or decayed teeth. The doctor will not call you prior to pulling teeth, they will extract any/all teeth deemed unhealthy based on a visual exam. Extractions are done at the veterinarian’s discretion. We do not pull healthy teeth. You will be sent home with a dental chart describing your pet’s mouth and any needed medications. If dental radiographs are recommended by your regular veterinarian, have them performed prior to coming to us. They can be e mailed or hand delivered for our review.
What should I expect when I pick up my pet?
You will receive written discharge instructions and all needed medications when you pick up. Depending on your pet’s procedure, they may/may not be mildly sedate when you pick them up. If your pet is having surgery, the area will be shaved.
Will my pet have to spend the night?
We are a day facility only. Pets are discharged at the end of the day. We or your full service veterinarian may recommend post op care. All post-op care should be provided by either your full service veterinarian or any veterinary emergency center. Our services are intended to get your pet through surgery at a lower cost so that you will hopefully be able to afford post-op care if needed. We will make ourselves available during normal business hours for suture removals or rechecks if related to a procedure performed in our hospital. Be sure to call for availability.
Do we offer a payment plan?
We accept Care Credit which you can apply for at carecredit.com. Care Credit offers a 6 month/no interest plan. We also accept Visa, Master Card, Discover, debit and cash. We do not take personal checks or American Express. Sorry, Helping Hands cannot extend credit. We wish we could do it for free but, (until we win the lottery) our fees are as low as we can possibly make them and still be available for the next pet who needs us. Please, if you need to borrow money and do not have credit available, turn to your family, friends, or employers to lend you the money and make arrangements to pay them back. Your pet is your responsibility and we will do what we can to help you through a difficult time, but we cannot be financially responsible for you and your pet.
Are we the facility for you?
Our doctors and staff are great at what they do because they limit what they do and spend their entire day doing it well. They are efficient which means your pet is under sedation for a shorter amount of time. This is safer for your pet and allows us to help more pets in a day. This also means the doctors and staff spend their entire day helping the pets and not spending it with their owners or accompanying pets overnight. We leave the consultations and diagnostics to the referring full service veterinarian and the post-op care to either you, the owner, your regular veterinarian, or any of the great 24-hour veterinary hospitals. You should already know what your pet needs when you arrive and we will give you post-op care instructions when you leave, so the money you pay is for our doctors to care for your pet for the day. You are not being charged for an office visit or hospitalization allowing us to keep our costs as low as possible.
Why do we do it?
Because we love the animals, and love what we do. We never want to see an animal put to sleep or suffer simply due to financial constraints. We hope that with our affordable prices people will never have to choose between saving their pet’s life or paying their bills. Learn more about our animal care team!