COVID-19 Updates May 2020

Like everyone around us, the Windsor/ Essex County Humane Society has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For a while, adoptions and all other non-essential programs were cancelled, and our spay/neuter clinic was closed.  But now, as the Provincial Government takes the first steps in reopening, our team has been working very hard developing a measured plan to restart services in a way that keeps everyone involved safe. This includes staff, volunteers, and members of the public. Like the Provincial Government, our plan also works in stages, prioritizing services based on the community’s need for them as well as the risk in opening them.  

As of May 16, the following services and procedures are in place: 

  • We continue to be available 24 hours a day to answer your questions or respond to urgent situations. Call us at 519-966-5751. 
  • As always, we remain available for urgent intakes of sick/ injured stray animals, sick/ injured/ orphaned wildlife, stray dogs, or situations where protective care is required. We have also now opened up intake of healthy stray kittens as well.  Kittens should be left with their mom until they are at least 7 weeks old (not sure how old a kitten is?  Check here) Please note that ALL intakes are by appointment. Please call 519-966-5751 if you have found an animal and need to bring them in.
  • We are now accepting non-urgent owner surrendered animals.  ALL intakes are by appointment. Please call 519-966-5751 to book an appointment to surrender your pet.  
  • If you have lost your pet, we encourage you to view found stray dogs and cats online. If you believe that your pet is here, please contact us at 519-966-5751 to get more information or to book a time to come claim them.
  • Adoptions are taking place through a reduced contact process.  Our Adoption Centre remains closed to browsing, but all available animals are posted on our web site.  An application can be submitted online, and an appointment scheduled to come and meet your animal and take them home.
  • Services are once again open at our public spay/neuter clinic. As expected, appointments have been filling quickly. Please note that appointments are required for all surgeries, including community cats.  For more information or to book an appointment please call 519-966-1118.
  • All events, volunteer programs (other than foster volunteers), pet loss meetings, and humane education programming remain on hold. 
  • At present, we are not routinely moving all incoming animals to foster homes. However, it is kitten season, and we are always looking for people willing to foster moms and kittens, weaned kittens without moms, and bottle baby kittens.  To sign up to foster please sign up here
  • With foot traffic resuming at the Humane Society, we once again welcome you to drop off donations of pet food, cleaning supplies, cat carriers, traps, and clean large towels.  To help keep our visitor numbers manageable, we are asking that you continue to hold off on donations of blankets, metal dog crates, and newspapers. Donations can also be made online at http://windsorhumane.org/donate-now-2/.

What steps is the Humane Society taking to ensure everyone’s safety? 

The health and safety of our animals and the community continues to be our highest priority.  A number of measures have been implemented to help ensure everyone’s safety, including:

· Physical changes like plexiglass barriers and floor markers, as well as a separate waiting area for adopters and fosters with medical appointments.  

· Staggering intake and appointments times to maintain a safe volume of customers and staff and support physical distancing

· Regular disinfecting of all high touch surfaces

· Face coverings mandatory for all adopters/ clinic clients and staff working with those customers due to the reduced ability to physically distance.  If you don’t have one we have them available for purchase

· Tap payment for debit or credit transactions under $100 and increased ability to pre-pay by phone prior to your visit

· Staff are regularly asked to self-assess their own risk and stay home if they are ill, and clients and customers are also asked to stay home if they have risk factors.  

Can I catch the virus from my pet or vice versa? 

Continue to love your pets!  There have been a few cases where cats or dogs living with people who had the virus tested positive, but all are believed to be human to animal transmission. There have not been any reports of transmission from a companion animal to a person, despite a widespread international pandemic.  If you have COVID-19 and have been around your pets, out of caution it’s recommended that you keep your pets inside and away from other people as long as you have the ability to continue to care for them. This will not only prevent the remote risk of them carrying the virus outside the home, but allows both of you to continue to comfort each other.  For a great resource on pets and COVID-19 visit: https://www.wormsandgermsblog.com

How can I prepare now in case I get sick?

It is important to have a plan in place for all members of your household to respond to any emergency, including illness. In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, have a plan for what would happen if you become ill and need to be hospitalized. Consider what provisions and pet supplies you would need for you and your pet if you were quarantined for an extended period of time, and also consider who would assist if you needed to find temporary alternate housing for your pet should you become unable to care for them. If you aren’t feeling well but are still able to provide care for your pet, please keep them at home with you where they’re most comfortable.

Pet owners should always have a “pet preparedness plan” in case of emergencies. That includes:

  • Name and contact information for the person who can care for your pets
  • Name and contact information for your back-up in case your go-to is no longer able to help
  • Food, treats, a leash, a couple of toys, and any other supplies necessary to care for your pet for at least two weeks
  • A crate or carrier to transport your pet
  • Vaccination records
  • Collars with ID tags (and don’t forget to make sure your pet’s microchip information is up to date)
  • Medications and prescriptions, along with a list of instructions
  • Daily care instructions (here is a great sample)
  • Contact information for your veterinary clinic