Updates on COVID-19 | Winnipeg Humane Society
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Update 6 – Monday, March 30th

  • Although the Province of Manitoba has restricted the operations of all non-critical services by order of the Manitoba Public Health Directive issued under the authority of the Public Health Act (Section 67) by April 1st, the Winnipeg Humane Society is included as part of the Schedule of Critical Services: “73. A business that provides for the health and well-being of animals, including farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, research facilities and other service providers.” and will remain open in our current state. This includes Adoptions by appointment-only, Intake for animal emergencies only and our Clinic closed to all elective surgeries.

Update 5 – Friday, March 20th

  • The Government of Manitoba has declared a State of Emergency. The declaration further enhances social distancing, but it does NOT affect our plans or activities here in the shelter as we have established them.
  • Thank you to the community for your outpouring of support for Foster applications – we’ve had hundreds of applicants. Please be aware that we will call you if and when we need your assistance with fostering. At this time it is a contingency plan only.
  • Another thank you to the community for adapting so well to our Adoptions Department becoming appointment-only. You already adopted 19 animals this week alone and we still have plenty of furry friends to give forever homes to. Please call 204-982-2035 to make an appointment.

Update 4 – Wednesday, March 18th

  • The doors have been locked in our Adoptions, Intake and Clinic areas and are now by appointment only. To make an appointment with Adoptions, please call 204-982-2035. Anyone who comes to the shelter front door will need to call this number to confirm their appointment and their health prior to entering the building.
  • Effective today, the operating hours of our Investigations and Emergency Response Department have been reduced to 8:00am to 8:00pm daily. For Animal Emergencies within the City of Winnipeg, call 204-982-2020. To report an Animal Welfare Concern within the City of Winnipeg, call 204-982-2028.
  • We have reduced staff to comply with Health Canada guidelines, which can affect our ability to take phone calls and respond to emails. Please be patient with us during this unique time.

Update 3 – Tuesday, March 17th

Please be aware of the following updates and cancellations at the Winnipeg Humane Society:

  • All WHS Behaviour classes have been cancelled for the next 30 days and current registrants are being contacted.
  • The WHS Used Book & DVD Sale is being postponed until the fall with tentative rescheduled dates of September 12th and 13th. Please refrain from dropping off any books or DVDs until further notice.
  • We have placed one of our red donation bins outside the front door of the shelter. We continue to rely on your pet food, treats and bedding donations, so please feel free to drop them outside at the new outdoor bin.

Update 2 – Monday, March 16th

Please be aware of the following updates and closures at the Winnipeg Humane Society:

  • With the Province of Manitoba’s mandate to close all schools for three weeks, we want to emphasize the importance of practicing social distancing to avoid large gatherings and crowds in our adoption centers. At this point, our Adoptions Department will be open regular hours. But we are asking you to visit only if you are actively looking to adopt an animal. We know WHS is a wonderful place for children to interact with animals, but in this uncertain time we are taking as many precautions as possible. Please also refrain from visiting if you have recently travelled abroad or you are feeling ill.
  • We have cancelled our WHS Spring Break Kid Camp and all parents are being notified directly. We feel this is the most responsible decision for the safety and well-being of both the children and staff. All other WHS Educational programming, tours and birthday parties have been cancelled and are being rescheduled starting April 16th.
  • We are cancelling all of our Clinic’s elective animal surgeries for the public (with the exception of cat neuters) and temporarily suspending SNAP, the low cost Spay and Neuter Assistance Program for the next 30 days. Current surgery appointments will be contacted and rescheduled.
  • Animal Intake is being limited to medical emergencies only. The shelter must be prepared and caring for the animals we already have is the number one priority.

Update 1 – Friday, March 13th

Dear friends of the WHS,

You’ve likely been following the news about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are aware that Manitoba has confirmed cases, with more suspected.  The World Health Organization has deemed this a pandemic, as such we must be prepared. We want you to know what WHS is doing to prepare for any eventuality. We are committed to providing you as complete a picture as possible.

This is a fluid situation, and our understanding of this virus and its impact is changing by the hour. We are monitoring the presence and spread of COVID-19 and planning for all possible scenarios, from minimal to extreme, and from short-term to long-term.

Right now, WHS is unaffected by the virus and is continuing operations as normal. Our goal is to be there for the animals in need, continue to provide good customer service to all of our visitors and ensure all staff and volunteers are employing best practices. It’s important to note that there is one known case of COVID-19 being transferred from human to canine, with the pet being in good health. However, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with animals.

The steps we are taking here at the shelter include:

  • Continuing to implement our stringent existing shelter cleaning protocols including changing gloves and aprons in between the cleaning for each animal room.
  • Implementing extra cleaning protocols for our bathrooms, offices, workstations, phones and doorknobs.
  • Ordering extra supplies to be prepared for an emergency scenario.
  • Working with our Board of Directors and Finance Department to ensure we have enough financial stability for any closures.
  • Promoting and utilizing our 25+ handwashing stations in the shelter, all equipped with soap and paper towels.
  • Advising staff and volunteers to monitor their health for any symptoms and to stay home if they are sick.
  • Putting together a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan to guide each department and account for different scenarios.

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding this situation, but we are doing everything we can to develop our business continuity plan to keep the shelter running smoothly and ensure all animals in need receive ongoing care.

If you are looking for ways to help, we are always in need of your donations – now more than ever. We are currently running our 1001 Donations campaign, where your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $60,000. There’s never been a better time to give and show your support.

Thank you for caring about our organization and the welfare of our animals. We couldn’t do it without you.

 

With gratitude,

Javier Schwersensky
WHS CEO