“In the past week, COVID-19 has started behaving a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen we’ve been worried about,” Bill Gates wrote in his article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Gates is referring to, 1919 when the Spanish Flu (H1N1) swept the globe. What can this century-old pandemic show us about animal shelters? By helping under-resourced communities connect to services, empowered and given choice to shelter in place, we can help slow the spread of the virus. Help people keep their pets with them, out of the shelter, and connect people to the local resources you know of that are helping to keep people safe and healthy.
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine issued a COVID-19 Response: Limiting Non-Emergency Surgery in Shelters and Spay Neuter Clinics. Included in the response is the recommendation that “shelters and spay-neuter clinics should make decisions about which spay-neuter surgeries and other procedures are non-emergency procedures and discontinue those that could be deferred.” Is your shelter putting a pause of spay-neuter surgery?
Collaboration is key during times like these. The latest blog published by the Association of Advancement of Animal Welfare “5 Things Animal Shelters And Rescues Can Do Together To Minimize Shelter Intake And Maximize Lifesaving Due to COVID-19,” co-written by Kristen Hassen-Auerbach and Katherine Shenar instructs shelters on things they can do now to serve the pets in their communities while transport operations are taking a pause.
Also be sure to check out the HeART Speak Communications & Marketing Guide For Shelters, Amid COVID-19. This amazing source offers dozens of templates to help you spread your message, ask for help, and save the lives of cats and dogs.
The heroes at KC Pet Project received over 250 sign-ups for emergency foster homes in just one day! “Today, 31 dogs and cats left the shelter to go to foster homes! Our foster managers are working around-the-clock to match families up with our pets that need to leave the shelter. We also adopted out 26 pets, transferred 11 out to other shelters and rescue groups, and returned one pet home to its owner. It was a great day!” For all updates from KC Pet Project regarding the coronavirus and ways that you can help the pets of Kansas City, please go to www.kcpetproject.org/coronavirus.
Did you miss last night’s live Big Dog COVID Q&A with Dr. Ellen Jefferson and Kristen Hassen-Auerbach? You can watch the recording here on our AmPA! Shelter and Rescue Support Group Facebook Page. Hear what these visionary directors think about how building trust in our communities to maintain lifesaving may lead us to the next phase of animal sheltering. Catch strategies to ensure your population of medium and large dogs is treated as individuals, proactively sent to foster and adoptive homes.
And be sure to tune in next week at the same time, Wednesday, March 25, at 6 pm PT/8 pm CT for another live session.