Shelter Extends Closure to the Public.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 12, 2020 |
Seattle Humane has extended its closure to the public until further notice to support community efforts to reduce the spread of infection.
This announcement comes as the shelter monitors new information concerning the coronavirus outbreak, as well as in response to recommendations from government and healthcare officials to promote social distancing interventions.
“Seattle Humane is committed to doing its part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, while also fulfilling our mission of saving lives and completing families,” said Interim Chief Executive Officer Paula Littlewood. “We will be looking at our current operation procedures and determining how best to connect our deserving shelter pets with loving families without exacerbating a public health situation. In the interim, our talented and dedicated staff and volunteers continue to provide exceptional care to all of our animals, whether they are here at our shelter or in one of our foster homes.”
As the shelter’s primary goal remains finding homes for the pets in its care, it will offer a trial of limited adoptions by appointment only. (Please note that this adoption process is not active at this time.)
This adoption-by-appointment system was piloted Thursday, March 12, for nearly a dozen large-breed mix puppies. These 14-week-old puppies were already scheduled for transport from Oklahoma before the coronavirus outbreak closure was announced. As this is a new model designed specifically for this unprecedented public health situation, the shelter will then evaluate how best to expand this adoption-by-appointment approach to incorporate the nearly 80 pets who would have otherwise been available for adoption if the shelter had remained open to the public.
In the meantime, fewer than 40 pets remain on campus, where they are being cared for by a reduced group of staff and volunteers. The rest of the 150-plus pets in the shelter’s charge are enjoying offsite slumber parties within the organization’s network of about 900 foster homes.
“While this situation is ever-evolving, one constant throughout is our commitment to providing comfort and care to vulnerable animals,” Littlewood said. “We are dedicated to ensuring that the dogs, cats, and small critters entrusted to us will continue to receive the affection and attention they deserve.”
During this closure to the public, the shelter is postponing the following services: Pet Resource Center appointments, Humane Education events, public veterinary appointments, dog training classes, media segments, and fundraising events. Additionally, the donor reception, “TLC in ISO,” originally scheduled for April 2, will be canceled and rescheduled for a later date.
NOTE: According to numerous health organizations (including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the American Veterinary Medical Association), no animals in the United States have been diagnosed with the virus, and zero data exists to suggest that dogs or cats (or other pets) can contract or spread Covid-19, also known as 2019-nCoV.
“There’s no evidence to indicate that domesticated animals play any role in disease transmission for Covid-19,” said Dr. Jessica Reed, veterinarian and chief medical director at Seattle Humane.
Bottom line: Practice social distancing and snuggle your pets. 🙂