We are back to our regular business hours at HSMC and no longer requiring appointments for casual visits to the shelter. COVID-19 taught us a few valuable lessons that we will carry into how we operate on a regular basis so some things may look a little different the next time you visit us.
The biggest change is that we are no longer allowing the public into our adoptable dog kennel area. There are a number of reasons for this change, the biggest being the safety and well being of the canines in our care. This is the only space the dogs have at the shelter that is considered “their own” and it can be very stressful when they feel that space is threatened. Some dogs have poor kennel behavior in the stress of the shelter and we do not feel this should have a bearing on whether or not they will get picked for adoption. We would prefer to bring them out for you to visit with after they have had a chance to go potty and decompress from the kennel environment. We appreciate your understanding as we navigate these changes that will ultimately improve the experience for the animals in our care.
We will also continue to require applications ahead of visiting with animals for adoption. We put a lot of time and effort into finding wonderful matches for our shelter pets and want to make sure we can devote the time and attention you need. If you are not looking to adopt but wish to visit with shelter pets, we strongly encourage you to join our volunteer program so you can help us, help them.
Masks are not required but are encouraged for visitors, staff and volunteers according to CDC guidelines:
- Everyone 2 years of age or older who is not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in indoor public places.
- In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. (In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including waring a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
- If you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
In addition we ask that if you have any cold-like symptoms regardless of vaccination status that you wear a mask when interacting with our staff or volunteers.
We are looking forward to moving back into fundraisers and more of our normal activities and are happy to be seeing you on the other side.