*Updated July 7, 2020**
PLEASE CALL US BEFORE VISITING.
With the recent increase in Covid 19 cases in Elkhart County, we want to keep our staff and community safe.
Upon arrival at HSEC, to help manage traffic flow, we ask that you call us before coming to the building. 574-848-4225
Lost or Found a Pet – Please call us to file a report. If you are missing a pet, visit our website to see the lost pets currently residing at HSEC.
As communities around the nation “re-open” for services I want to update you on what protocols and policies we have enacted to keep our volunteers, staff, and members of the public safe. As you may know, the care of animals is an essential function and your Humane Society has remained open throughout this pandemic. We have, however, had to amend some of our protocols to keep everyone safe. We have followed the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the National Animal Care and Control Association.
When COVID-19 first began affecting some in our community we thought, and hoped, that the virus would be short-lived, and we would return to “normal” as soon as possible. As we have seen, the number of cases initially looked promising for Elkhart County; however, they have recently begun to increase drastically. It is for these purposes that we have continued to follow the recommended guidelines of the national organizations:
- The likely impact of COVID-19 on shelters is a trend of average to increased intakes combined with reduced foster, adoption, and rescue outcomes. Therefore, the recommendation is for shelters to suspend the intake of healthy stray cats. Animals should only come to the shelter if their life is at stake and human intervention is required to prevent death. Sick and/or injured animals will receive priority for treatment.
- The Humane Society of Elkhart County is asking that members of our community help with caring for tame or obvious pet cats and dogs. In most cases, cats that have wandered from home will find their way back home on their own and finders are being asked to assist with doing so whenever possible.
- Dispatch and Law Enforcement officials have been notified that we have moved to “high-priority/emergency only” operations for animal control. This will include any calls where law enforcement requests our assistance, injured, sick or aggressive animals, and animals that are requiring a bite quarantine away from home. Our animal control officers have been responding to cruelty and neglect cases based on severity.
- We have suspended low-priority services until the end of quarantine including, but not limited to; non-aggressive stray cat pick-ups, licensing violations (where required), trap-loan programs, owner-surrendered animals, noise violations or neighbor disputes.
- Non-emergency owner surrender of pets has been deferred until we are certain the shelter can care for each pet released to us. We are currently encouraging owners to have a plan for their pets should they be too ill to care for the pet whenever possible. We also have worked with owners to assist them in finding an alternative to surrendering their pets, such as our food assistance program which is designed to help keep pets in their homes with their owners.
- All staff members have been provided with personal protective equipment to keep them safe throughout their time at work. Caring for COVID exposed animals calls for additional protective gear which is issued to those staff caring for those animals.
- All volunteer services (Including our Red Barn Resale Shop) have been suspended during this time as we closely watch the increase in the rate of positive cases in Elkhart County. At this point, it is essential that we continue to ask our volunteers to remain home and wait to visit their animal friends when it is safe to do so.
- Fundraising events have been postponed or cancelled during the pandemic to help ensure that physical distancing can be observed.
We so greatly appreciate all the support and encouragement from our closest friends for the animals in our community. Many of you have reached out and supported the Humane Society either through monetary donations, pet food donations or even taking in animals during this time.
We are hopeful that we will begin to see the cases of COVID-19 decrease in our county and we will be able to “re-open” fully to the public and our volunteers.
For additional information on our protocols please visit our website at www.elkharthumanesociety.org or contact me at 574-848-4225.
Thank you and stay safe!