Waggin’ Around the Valley: What do animal shelters do in a pandemic?

By Hali Emmons

I know there are many members of the public wondering what certain businesses and establishments do in times of crisis.

For many places, they are considered “essential” for a society to stay open and running. Animal shelters in many states and providences are considered under the “essential services” category.

To help make sure the staff and animals stay safe, Page County Animal Shelter has been closed to the public since March 23.

That means that anyone wishing to adopt an animal or visit our facility has to make an appointment by telephone to enter the premises.

At this time shelter staff are cleaning, taking dogs out, and socializing with animals daily. If the local situation changes due to the virus, the county will make an announcement designating any modifications to the animal shelter schedule. But just know, any animal that is in our facility will always be cared for and looked after, even during these times of uncertainty. 

Animal control, which is through the Sheriff’s Office, is taking calls about stray animals in Page County. With animals that enter our facility, that are designated a lost stray, shelter staff will put their picture and information on their Facebook page for the owners to come retrieve their lost pet.

For any adoptable animals that should arrive during this pandemic, staff will post on their Facebook page and Petfinder page to ensure they can get the animal’s image and information out to the public to get them adopted out as quickly as possible. The Page County Animal Shelter staff has worked tirelessly to find placement for all adoptable animals at this time!

With many reports coming in on the Coronavirus’ ever-changing behaviors and mutations, many people are concerned over the risk it poses to their furry friends at home.  At this moment, the CDC states “…there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States.”

Unfortunately it’s becoming an issue nationwide that fear of spreading of the virus from people to animals or vice versa has led to an increase in owner surrendered animals. As an animal lover, I implore people to stay up to date with the latest information from health officials before making such a huge life-altering decision for their beloved pets. Coming into a shelter environment can have long-lasting consequences on an animal’s mental health if not moved out quickly. 

As we continue to have more cases coming into our county, always stay vigilant to the most up to date information from reliable news sources.

Check on your family, friends, and neighbors to make sure they have everything they or their pets need.

We will get through this together!

Contact the Page County Animal Shelter at (540) 778-2101

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