EAST CENTRAL — People can still adopt animals from the two SPCA shelters in east central Saskatchewan, but the adopters have to be pre-approved first.
Those that are pre-approved will be able to pick up their animals from the Humboldt and North East SPCAs. Otherwise, they are closed to the public.
“The pre-approval has always been there, people just don’t do it. Now they don’t have a choice because we’re not having people coming in and look,” said Wanda Price, Humboldt’s shelter manager. “We’re not letting people come in the building and looking at every cat and dog.”
Price said she considered closing the shelter, and even started to, but thinking of the puppies the shelter recently acquired stopped her.
“Those puppies are only three-and-a-half months old right now. If this goes on for three or four months and we don’t let them get adopted, those pups would grow up here.”
Since then, those puppies have been put in foster care.
According to Health Canada, as of March 24 there is no evidence to suggest that this virus is circulating in animals throughout the country.
“It is possible that some types of animals can be infected with COVID-19 but there is no evidence that pets or other animals can spread the virus,” the federal government’s website reads.
“There are still many unknowns about COVID-19 and this is an area that remains to be studied and understood.”
Due to the virus, the Humboldt shelter will not be taking any animal surrenders, or stray cats that appear healthy.
“If there are any injured or in bad shape, we will get them to the vet,” Price said.
As of the time of publication, the North East SPCA is still accepting animals from local pounds, but requires them to call in advance.
Kristy Mason, the shelter’s manager, said disinfecting procedures will continue as normal.
“We treat every animal that comes in as if they have a disease, just so we’re protecting all the other animals and ourselves,” Mason said. “So basically, disinfecting everything, cleaning everything that gets touched, and making sure everyone has been separated until we can make sure they’re okay.”
While accepting strays and found animals will continue, Mason said the number has dropped.
“I think people being at home makes it so those animals aren’t escaping the yard so much,” she said.
While this is good news, adoptions have also been down for the shelter.
“We’re used to doing one adoption every second day, and now it’s been a few days and we’re just waiting.”
The Humboldt SPCA has been having different luck.
Price said that since the beginning of March the Humboldt SPCA adoptions have been “crazy” with eight dogs and four cats being adopted.
“I have many applications, but many of them are for people who want to travel here. So I’m just hanging on, waiting, because travelling is not recommended.”
The North East SPCA has started two fundraisers to try to make up for the monetary loss to shelter through the drop in adoptions. One is selling pet themed apparel, with the details on their Facebook page. The other fundraiser is where people can have their pet drawn for $15 by e-transferring the money to email@example.com, and then sending the animal's picture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adoption pre-approval forms can be found at humboldtspca.com for the Humboldt SPCA and northeastspca.org for the Northeast SPCA.