The Connecticut Humane Society has temporarily suspended pet intake and adoptions due to COVID-19.
The state’s leading animal welfare organization, CHS shut down its shelters in Waterford and Westport this week, consolidating operations to the Newington headquarters on Russell Road.
Healthy animals that were being sheltered are now in volunteer foster homes. Foster families were provided with the pets’ favorite foods, toys and tips upon release.
Dogs, cats and rabbits who are staying in Newington’s facility are receiving medical treatment or behavioral support, in addition to regular enrichment activities, toys, treats and attention from staff. The building is closed to visitors at this time.
“Our hours of operation and how we function as an organization have been modified to protect our community, our volunteers, and our staff, while still maintaining a level of care for our animals and performing our mission,” executive director James Bias said. “Rest assured our staff, volunteers and medical professionals are making sure animals have all of their needs met, whether they are under our roof or in a CHS volunteer foster home. We just ask for your patience and to look for continued updates on our website at CThumane.org.”
The Fox Memorial Clinic at CHS’ Newington facility remains open to serious medical cases only. Some examples include pyometra, a life-threatening condition in female dogs who have not been spayed, or skeletal fractures.
The organization is still offering assistance to pet families out in the community, including advice and suggestions for keeping pets busy and happy.
“Pets understand when you’re stressed – they’re very intuitive,” marketing and communications manager Susan Wollschlager explained. “They pick up on the fact that something is different right now.”
She encouraged people to maintain their pet’s routine even if their own routine has changed in recent days, adding, “It helps them feel safe and know what to expect.”
Families who are struggling to afford their pets’ food right now due to job loss or other factors can fill out an application online to receive food through the CHS Pet Food Pantry.
Staff is grateful to animal lovers from around the state who have offered their assistance during what they perceive must be a challenging time for the CHS.
“People have been reaching out about how they can help, which is amazing because I’m sure they’re worried about their families and finances too right now,” Wollschalger pointed out. “It’s so heartwarming to get all these messages.”
Material donations cannot be accepted at this time, but monetary donations are encouraged at cthumane.org/donate. They go towards the continued medical care of shelter animals at CHS.
While adoption and fostering are closed, they will open back up in the future, Wollschlager said.
“We’ve been telling people to prepare themselves now so when we open up adoptions again they’ll be ready to take in a new pet,” she added.
This Thursday, March 26 tune into “Boredom Busters” on the CT Humane Society’s Facebook page, a webinar focusing on fun activities for pets, taking place from 3-4 p.m.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-500997 or firstname.lastname@example.org.