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Pets and COVID-19: What You Need To Know

Fri, 3 Apr 2020

COVID-19 : As of Monday, March 16, the Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre is closed to all visitors and volunteers until further notice. The Bow Valley SPCA cares deeply about the health and well-being of our staff and visitors and, although this is a difficult decision to make, we believe it is the best thing to do for everyone’s welfare.

Update April 6, 2020

On the good news side of the ledger, 5 of the 6 dogs and 4 of the 17 cats in our care are being fostered by families that have more time to include a new member of the family into their household. The sixth dog is being adopted early next week.

Our staff remains well and we are continuing the one person at a time in the shelter policy, along with stringent cleaning protocols. Our staff is providing lots of human contact with the dogs and cats remaining at the shelter as we strive to maintain an enriched AND safe environment.

Update April 3, 2020

The Bow Valley SPCA, and other animal shelters have been designated as "essential services". As such we are committed to keeping or staff and volunteers safe while continuing to match our dogs and cats to potential adopters and potential foster families. The process for either adopting or fostering is being done digitally--at least until the final stage of transferring the dog or cat to the new family.

In this time of crisis and uncertainty and with more people staying at home, we have had many inquiries about fostering. People are telling us that they have time and that having a dog or cat in the house makes them feel better. So far we have been able to find foster homes for 4 cats and 4 dogs. In addition we have had inquiries about adopting 2 dogs and 2 cats.

We continue to maintain safety as our top priority. The centre is closed to everyone except staff. Volunteers can walk dogs by special arrangements that allow the staff to safely pass the dog to the volunteer walker at the gate.

The best way to contact us for the next weeks is to use email Callls will be answered between noon and 4 PM Wednesday through Sunday.

Even though our dedication to the welfare of animals has been recognized as an essential service, we will remain closed to the general public. We have postponed our programs and fundraising events to hrlp minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

We are here for those who need us and we anticipate this will only increase during this crisis.

As of March 16th, 2020, the Bow Valley SPCA enacted the following protocols:

  • The Carla Cumming Sojonky Adoption Centre, home of Bow Valley SPCA is closed to the public
  • Only essential staff will be permitted to enter the building and will be required to follow modified safety procedures
  • Postponement of all events, tours, presentations, community events and animal behaviour classes
  • Emergency animal intakes only, to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis
  • Adoptions and fostering will be considered on a case by case basis
  • All individuals scheduled to enter the building who are exhibiting any symptoms of, or have been in contact with anyone exhibiting any symptoms of, COVID-19 will not be permitted to enter the building.

All animals in-shelter at the Adoption Centre will continue to be cared for as usual during this time.

There is no evidence to support that companion animals can develop the disease or transmit the disease to humans or animals and to date, there have been no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Canadian Public Health Service are recommending that pet owners who have been diagnosed with COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with their pets including snuggling, kissing pets or sleeping in the same bed
  • Wash their hands before touching or feeding their pet
  • Do not cough or sneeze on or near their pet
  • Do not let the pet have contact with other animals or people

The Bow Valley SPCA will continue to protect the health and safety of both people and animals. Please follow us on social media for informational updates as they emerge.