With the news about coronavirus (COVID-19) changing rapidly, you may be wondering about the effect on animals and operations at the Oklahoma Humane Society. Along with all of you, we at the Oklahoma Humane Society have been grappling with how to best prepare for the impact of COVID-19.
In the face of so much unknown, we are clear about this: Our top priority is the health and safety of our staff, donors, animals, fosters, volunteers — and the community at large.
First, I want to let you know that OK Humane is open and we have many wonderful dogs, and cats looking for a home or a foster home. While our operation hours are normal, we are increasing efforts to prevent the spread of any illness — asking staff to stay home when they are ill, reducing the number of large groups visiting the adoption center, prioritizing a plan to mitigate public contact at the Spay+ Neuter Clinic, moving to virtual meetings, assigned working spaces and of course cleaning and sanitizing surfaces regularly.
During uncertain times, it’s a good reminder to have an emergency plan in place if you are no longer able to care for your pets. This includes ensuring pets are wearing proper identification, identifying a friend or family member who can help in case you get sick, and having extra animal food and supplies on hand. These preparations can also be helpful if there is a need to stay in your home for an extended period of time.
There have also been questions about whether pets can get sick from COVID-19 or if they can make us sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that companion animals such as cats and dogs have been infected or could spread the virus that causes COVID-19. The full advisory document from World Small Animal Veterinary Association can be found here.
Lastly, I want to assure you that we are monitoring the situation closely and following the advice from public health officials. We have a multi-phased plan ready to implement if or when the need arises. The health and well-being of the animals in our care,
OK Humane staff and the communities we serve is always our top priority.
Dana R. McCrory
President & CEO
Oklahoma Humane Society