Helping Pets During the Pandemic
So here we are, week something-or-other since people started spending much more time with their pets than ever before. Yes, getting more love and attention than ever before is one of several good changes that that COVID has brought to some pet’s lives. But there are certainly negative impacts upon animals from the pandemic as well that we need to start talking about now so they can be minimized.
One of the bigger, potentially far reaching, impacts to the animal welfare world is that spay/neuter surgeries have been placed on hold for the past several weeks (due to shortage of personal protective equipment and physical distancing requirements) and it is unknown when they will resume. Oh, and it is kitten and puppy season.
We have come so far in the past decade in reducing pet overpopulation numbers (annual euthanasia rates in the U.S. have dropped from around 10 million to 1.5 million) and there is concern that current spay/neuter restrictions could result in that rate increasing for the first time in years. Well it doesn’t have to and it really is up to you humans to keep it from happening.
You can start by making sure your unaltered pets are on lockdown with you. Second Chance intends to reconvene their low cost spay/neuter appointments as soon as it is safe to do so, but in the meantime, keep your unaltered pets at home and separated from any other unaltered pets. The last thing we need right now is a pet overpopulation spike.
Also, given that it is kitten season, it is important to understand that there are new litters of kittens out in our communities, and their best chance of survival is to be left alone. This means that if you come across a litter of kittens on your property or in your neighborhood do not gather them up and bring them to the shelter.
Most often the mother cat is out hunting for food to sustain herself while she is nursing her kittens. Don’t assume the kittens have been abandoned. Nursing kittens have a far greater chance of surviving with their mother than in a home or shelter environment.
You can certainly keep an eye on the kittens and make sure the mother returns to feed them, but please don’t move them. My best advice is to call my staff here at Second Chance and work with them on keeping the kittens safe and healthy until they are weaned by the mother. My staff really know their stuff and can be of great assistance to you.
My name is Flicka. I am a gorgeous 7 month-young long-haired Calico kitten. I am quite shy because I had to learn to fend for myself at such a young age. I do fine with other cats but am very independent.
My staff and volunteers here at Second Chance understand that I hide from them because I am still learning to trust but, although I don’t yet like to be held, I am enjoying my petting sessions with them. I think I will soon relax into being a cuddly cat if adopted into the right home with patient and gentle people who give me space when I need it.
Stay safe out there, keep your pets safe and we will all get through this together.
Contact Second Chance Humane Society at 970.626.2273 or online (adoptmountainpets.org) to learn how you can receive services, adopt, volunteer, foster, or donate to our programs and services. Also please let us know of any additional needs you are currently facing in keeping your pets as part of your families.