In some ways, everything has changed at the Connecticut Humane Society because of Covid-19. Adoptions, Fox Memorial Clinic appointments, even the way staff walk inside the building.
In one big way, CHS is the same: Pets are still getting the care they deserve. Generous supporters are making it possible for CHS and pets in need to get through this challenging time.
CHS reevaluated every facet of operations when Covid-19 restrictions began, suspending operations at Waterford and Westport locations for the time being, moving pets and staff to Newington, and sending most pets to foster care. Adoptions were even paused for over a week while procedures were overhauled.
But soon, adoptions started up again. They’re currently using online applications, conducting adoption counseling sessions over phone or video chat, and relying on email for documents instead of paper.
After a counseling session, adopters then come meet the pet in person by appointment. They must wear masks and maintain social distancing, which also means that pet meet-and-greets are held in large areas instead of adoption rooms. Pups meet people in the playpen, while kitties say “hi” in the cat condo area. Adoptions have been steady, with applications sometimes filling the inbox within minutes of a pet appearing online.
If pets aren’t available for adoption yet and aren’t actively receiving medical care in the veterinary department, they’re bunking with foster volunteers. Many of those critters include litters of kittens who are still working on getting big and strong.
Those who do need veterinary care—both shelter pets and family pets from the community—continue to get treatment they need at CHS. Staff veterinarians are performing exams and even emergency surgeries for CHS pets, and are seeing family pets with urgent needs at Fox Memorial Clinic. Like veterinary offices across the state, Fox staff members retrieve pets from owners in the parking lot, and bring the pet inside for exams, tests and procedures, calling owners to update them on what the pet needs. With so many families struggling on less or no income, Fox’s reduced fees and Special Assistance Fund are allowing pets across the state to keep their homes.
Same goes for CHS’ Pet Food Pantry. It’s taken on new clients during the crisis and is prepared for even more, thanks to a recent donation of 10 pallets of food from Hills Science Diet delivered with help from GreaterGood.org.
And staff members are getting it all done while working staggered shifts, wearing masks made and donated by volunteers, socially distancing, and walking down one-way-only hallways.
CHS will continue making changes as needed, with a focus on protecting staff members, pets and the public. Keep an eye on CThumane.org for future updates.