DCSPCA Activates Emergency COVID-19 Plan

DUTCHESS COUNTY – In preparation for events related to the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Dutchess County SPCA is implementing its emergency plan. DCSPCA anticipates an extraordinary influx of animals if the virus emergency is prolonged, due to large numbers of hospitalized owners and the economic impact on the community.

At this time, the following policies are in effect until further notice:

1. Adoptions: Our building will remain open and we will continue to adopt out our current animals. Please go to our website to see our available pets. If interested in one, please complete the online application before coming into the shelter.

2 .Wellness Clinic: At this time we are not booking appointments for routine wellness in order to conserve space and supplies for the anticipated animal influx.

3. Animal Intake: Effective immediately we are accepting emergency intakes only, that is, animals that are in danger and require immediate protection. As always, we will continue to accept any animal adopted from DCSPCA. Any Dutchess County resident wishing to surrender a pet due to non-emergency reasons such as relocation or landlord complaints should make alternative arrangements until such time as we are able to re-establish our regular intake procedures.

We are asking the community to help support our efforts in the following ways:

1. Emergency foster: If we need to clear kennel space to accommodate new animals coming in, we will need to put our current animal population into foster. We are asking for volunteers temporarily to house and feed healthy, adoptable animals—especially cats.

2. Donate: We will need significant supplies for the additional animals, especially food.

3. Volunteer: In case a significant portion of our staff becomes ill, we are asking for volunteers to help with the care of the animals.

The DCSPCA recommends community members create a preparedness plan that includes their pets in the event community is impacted by the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, individuals with pets should identify family members or friends to care for pets if someone in the household comes ill and is hospitalized.

Make a preparedness plan for your pets:

Identify a trusted family member or friend to care for your pets if someone in your household becomes ill or is hospitalized.

Research potential boarding facilities to utilize in the event boarding your pet becomes necessary.

Have crates, food and extra supplies for your pet on hand in case moving them becomes necessary or if the disease spreads in the community and it becomes necessary to reduce social exposure.

All animal vaccines should be up to date in the event boarding becomes necessary.

Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions. Including the prescription from the prescribing veterinarian is also helpful.

Pets should have identification including a collar with current identification tags and a registered microchip.

The Dutchess County SPCA recommends staying diligent in preparations, but not overreacting to COVID-19 concerns. By creating a preparedness plan ahead of time for the unlikely event it becomes necessary to put into motion, community members can do their part to ensure animal service resources do not become overwhelmed and their pets are spared unnecessary stress

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