As businesses and services continue to reopen from coronavirus-related shutdowns, some are still trying to figure out what full reopening will look like. Animal shelters, deemed "essential" by state government, have remained open all along, but it's been different – it could remain that way for a while.
What You Need To Know
- Animal shelters, deemed "essential" by state government, have remained open throughout the shutdown
- When COVID-19 kept many people home, pet adoptions skyrocketed
- Lollypop Farm offers many virtual services like pet obedience training
The Humane Society at Lollypop Farm never technically closed. Deemed essential three months ago, most services are by appointment only.
That's why Amy Scobey was there Tuesday morning. She adopted a male cat named Mel through the Working Cat program, for pets which might be better suited for the outdoors.
"I'm so excited," says Scobey, who has several pets on her 13 acres in Holley. "I just can’t wait to bring him home."
When COVID-19 kept many people home, pet adoptions skyrocketed.
"It was so wonderful," says Ashley Zeh, Lollypop Farm spokesperson. "We've seen so many people that are willing to open their home and heart to new pets."
Now the question is, what will a full-reopening of the shelter look like? And when? Waiting on guidance from state and local officials, right now, it's too early to say.
"Slowly but surely we are looking at reopening those services," says Zeh. "But we want to do it in a meaningful but safe way."
Lollypop Farm offers many virtual services like pet obedience training. The shelter right now is largely empty, but that's partly because about 42 percent of the pets which would normally be there are in foster homes. The shelter also just ran a pet food distribution event for people in need, with a goal of keeping pets with their owners.
"They may have lost their jobs or been furloughed," says Zeh. "There’s definitely a need out there."
Despite that need, Lollypop Farm has only had to take in a handful of pets from owners who couldn’t afford to keep them.
Most owners will tell you — their pets are family. Even in uncertain times, many families are still growing.
"I'm hoping he’ll be really happy," says Scobey as she carried her new friend to her car. "I’m so excited to get him."