By Robert Albrecht
Sedona AZ (April 30, 2020) – I know that many of you are missing the shelter, as am I. The best thing we can do for the animals is to stay safe and stay ready. As I mentioned before, we have not yet been hit hard with this pandemic. This gives us an exceedingly small window to act. When the pandemic really hits us, we want to be ready to help the people and the animals in our community. We have purposely not taken in any transfers this month. We are trying to get as many animals into foster as possible and our goal is having 25% or less of the shelter occupied at this time. As people become sick, their animals will need help. In addition, “Kitten and Puppy” season is upon us. With the industry suspension on spay/neuter surgeries; we are expecting to get lots of little ones coming in. We have been enlarging a prospective foster list to help place incoming animals and cross training the staff to cover each other’s jobs in an emergency. New systems and protocols have been initiated to keep everyone safe along with connecting with our community via social media.
Here is what you can do to help:
MAKE A PLAN – So many animals are flooding into shelters in areas with high COVID-19 cases and many people did not have a plan on how to care for their pet if they got sick. Please go through the information below and plan for your pet’s welfare. If you have a back-up plan with someone that already knows and loves them, it would be so much better for the pet. We need to help our community prepare, so the animals are not put in a traumatic situation. Include the following:
- Name and contact information for a go-to and back-up who can care for your pet
- Your pet’s daily care instructions
- At least two weeks’ worth of food and pet supplies (toys, bowls, treats etc.)
- Accessible pet crate or carrier
- Pet is always wearing a collar and ID tag
- Up-to-date contact information provided to your pet’s microchip company
- Up-to-date vaccination records on hand
- At least two weeks of medications and document outlining medications and dosages
- Your pet’s regular veterinary clinic and an emergency veterinarian’s contact information
- This is a video about how to make a “Pet Emergency Go Bag” https://youtu.be/FB6pt_lMGSk
DONATE DOG & CAT FOOD – Purina Pro Plan is our first choice, but we will graciously accept whatever you are able to donate. Although we only have a few animals at the shelter, we have 26+ animals in our foster care network and that number fluctuates daily. We support our “fosters” with food, other necessary supplies along with vaccinations and health exams if necessary. We continue to help provide pet food/litter for people in our community facing financial difficulties. If you can help, we encourage you to purchase online and have it sent directly to the shelter to limit your exposure and keep you safe:
- AMAZON: https://smile.amazon.com/
- CHEWY: https://www.chewy.com/
- PETSMART: https://www.petsmart.com/ (they also have curbside pick-up.
CONSIDER BECOMING AN ACTIVE “FOSTER PARENT” with the Humane Society of Sedona. We can match you with the time you wish to devote to this so everyone will benefit. More long term “fosters” are needed at this time and also, inquire about our revised “Foster to Adopt” program that has been created to meet the “new norm” during this critical time since all spay/neuter surgeries are on hold. Call 928-282-4679 between 10 am to 4 pm, seven days a week for more information about our fostering opportunities. A “Prescreen” session can be done on the phone to see if fostering would be a good match for you. Our goal has always been to provide the best care for our animals, and we are now approaching this in a different way to provide less stress on the animal and maintain the prescribed social distancing etiquette recommendations. Look for our “Community Survey” which is a key information gathering document that will give us an idea of how you would like to see the Humane Society of Sedona address the future needs of our community. Please take a moment to give us your input. This and other valuable information can be found on our website www.humanesocietyofsedona.org.
WE CANNOT ACCEPT ANIMALS UNLESS THEY ARE IN DIRE NEED– This is defined as sick, injured, dangerous, or in a dangerous situation for the animal. When we take any animal into the shelter, we must do a complete “intake procedure” which is stressful for the animal. We are offering to do courtesy posts on social media for owner surrenders as well as providing owners with rehoming resources. We are asking that the pets remain in the home until the pet can be rehomed. For found animals/strays that are healthy, we have been encouraging the finder to keep the animal for 72 hours while we search for the pet’s owner. We post on social media as well as on our website. Records show that 85% of the time the animal is reunited with the owner within 24-36 hours. Also, we supply food for the pet if it is a financial issue. We are doing everything we can to help people rehome their pets and connect with their lost pets without bringing the pets into the shelter unless necessary. Keeping people and pets safe during this difficult time is our priority.
We are taking care of the animals and ourselves and we appreciate all the support we receive from our community. GivingTuesday (May 5) is coming up soon and any monetary or food donations will be welcome. You can donate at www.humanesocietyofsedona.org/donate, by phone at (928) 282-4679 or mail to Humane Society of Sedona at 2115 Shelby Drive, Sedona, AZ 86336.