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Animal shelters had headstart toward healthier buildings

Rick BaconHow we occupy and move through spaces have been altered by our need to adapt our lives to controlling the spread of COVID-19. It’s now routine to drop-off and pick-up your pooch through the window of your car while waiting in the veterinary hospital’s parking lot. We suspect that many shelters have already adapted operations by, for example, moving some adoption processes on-line, limiting how many potential adopters can be in the lobby at one time, or making your people-traffic go in one direction with separate entrance and exit doors and floor-mapping flow through animal housing.

There are several design techniques that were already prevalent in the animal sheltering world that others now realize will help make all buildings safer to use and occupy during our time of COVID-19 and afterward. Those in the animal care community already know that air quality, flow and filtration help control the spread of airborne pathogens. Compartmentalizing animal housing into smaller spaces makes it easier to contain a disease outbreak and sanitize a space more rapidly. Automatic door openers make it easier to bring crated and non-crated animals through the doorway and provide a touchless entry. 

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Year In Review

Across the industry, 2020 was an unprecedented year requiring transformation. We at 24Pet understood as a result of COVID-19, our shelter partners may have experienced heightened levels of stress as they continued to care for animals in need and may still be experiencing that. Our industry pivoted to a new normal and we committed to supporting animal welfare and our shelter partners through challenging times. Despite 2020’s challenges, together, we were able to help advance many aspects of your organization’s practices through initiatives that include:  

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Children Go to Work at Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando

child "working" at animal shelterStory and photo courtesy of The Association of Animal Welfare Advancement

When the pandemic first hit, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando regularly asked staff what they needed and how they were doing. Their top 3 concerns? Their safety, their paycheck, and their families. In order to fully support employees who needed a safe space for their children to finish up the school year remotely, the Florida agency set up a Bring Your Child to Work Program. 

Here are the key components that made the program such a success:

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331 Animals Find Homes During Countdown 2 Zero Virtual Event

picture of couple with adopted dogPhotos and information courtesy of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League

Each year, dozens of local animal rescue groups join together for the Countdown 2 Zero (C2Z) Adoption Event - Palm Beach County’s largest one-day adoption event- in an effort to save the lives of hundreds of animals. Due to COVID-19, the 7th Annual Countdown 2 Zero Adoption Event was held as a virtual event and took place for one-week, instead of one-day. 

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Flagler Humane Society helps affect legislative change to protect animals

Article featured in The New Barker Dog Magazine

Cowering dogAs our nation responds to the COVID- 19 pandemic, reports of increasing rates of domestic violence have surfaced across the country, including Florida. Thankfully, a new lifesaving law (SB 1082), signed by Governor DeSantis, went into effect on July 1, 2020.

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Pensacola Humane's Help Team saves lives amid pandemic

Pensacola staff pose with animalsCourtesy of Pensacola Humane Society

COVID-19 drastically changed how animal shelters operated around the country. As state stay-home mandates went into effect many shelters, Pensacola Humane Society included, scrambled to figure out how to keep animals safe and cared for while maneuvering the ever-changing rules and regulations that the global pandemic brought. One of the positive things to come out of it all was the way it brought together animal shelters around the nation with regular zoom calls keeping people in the loop, offering advice and being a sounding board as we all tried to make the best decisions. Another positive that came out of all the changes caused by COVID-19 was the forming of our Help Team. The Help Team was created to offer support, advice and help to the community of Pensacola by way of phone calls and emails, regularly communicating with the community remotely. 

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ATTN 2019 Florida Animal Friends Grant Recipients

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on your activities, the Board of Directors of FL Animal Friend has extended the deadline for completion of your project and your report.

Instead of filing no later than September 1, your final report is now due no later than 5 PM on November 1, 2020.

 

STUDY CONFIRMS CATS CAN BECOME INFECTED WITH AND MAY TRANSMIT COVID-19 TO OTHER CATS

Here is the press release describing the important points from a new study that was just published. The study was conducted by a premier infectious disease research group at the Wisconsin veterinary school and demonstrated that cats are susceptible to infection by COVID virus from people and infected cats can spread the virus to other cats housed in close association (same housing unit). Infected cats shed virus from the respiratory tract (not the gastrointestinal tract) for 6 days.

The importance of these findings are highlighted near the bottom of the press release, including for shelter cats.

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COVID Grants Opportunities

The Pet Foster Care Stimulus Grant: Up to $20K 

The application window for this grant, offered by Maddie's Fund, closes this Friday, April 17. ProvidES funding to support foster programs with food, medical care, supplies, staff time and more. 

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Rabies Related Essential Services

From the Florida Department of Health Division of Disease Control and Health Protection Bureau of Epidemiology:

RABIES RELATED ESSENTIAL SERVICES (Florida Statute 828.30)

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Veterinary Telemedicine during COVID

ASPCA supports veterinary telemedicine during COVID-19 Pandemic

CLICK HERE TO READ THEIR STATEMENT

Paycheck Protection Program

Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses: CLICK HERE 

Spay/Neuter Guidelines during COVID

This link includes some terrific resources regarding spay/neuter guidelines and COVID-19:

CLICK HERE  

Video with Julie Levy, DVM, University of FL and Sandra Newberry, DVM University of Wisconsin

Shelter Medicine experts Dr. Sandra Newbury and Dr. Julie Levy explain why spay/neuter is considered an elective procedure and the multiple reasons why these surgeries should be suspended during COVID-1.

WATCH VIDEO

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COVID-19 Coronavirus & Companion Animals

Puppy and ball

From the Florida Department of Health Division of Disease Control and Health Protection Bureau of Epidemiology:

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