Utah animal shelter adjusts to COVID-19

Apr 13, 2020, 5:35 AM | Updated: 5:42 am
Animal Shelter...
Fireworks can cause pets a lot of stress. Photo: Getty Images

MURRAY, Utah – Animal shelters in Utah are having to adjust the way they do things because of COVID-19.

Deann Shepherd with the Utah Humane Society said their shelter has taken a financial hit.

“The one thing we have been impacted the most by is having to end any non-essential surgical procedures to save the personal protective equipment. And we actually donated a lot of that PPE to the hospitals to use to treat human patients,” Shepherd said.

While the hospitals are grateful for the extra gear, that means the shelter has had to temporarily let people go.

Shepherd said they are thankful for the people who continue to donate to the animal shelter, but they have also had to adjust the way they interact with the public because of COIVD-19.

“Our facility was designed to be a destination where people could come down, visit with the animals, spend time with them, and now we’ve had to…turn people away,” Shepherd said.

But there are a few bright spots.

Shepherd said their foster program is going great.

“In a foster home, the animals] get to be loved on and cared for, and it’s just a much better place for [the animal] to be temporarily while they wait for adoption,” Shepherd said.

Animal adoptions, meanwhile, have soared.

“When we would have dogs put up on our website [before the COVID-19 pandemic], they may be adopted, on average, within four days. Now…we’re finding that dogs are being adopted on average [within] two days,” Shepherd said.

If someone wants to adopt an animal, arrangements are made between the foster family and the person who wants to adopt to meet at the shelter so everyone can interact safely with the animal.

The Utah Humane Society is also encouraging people to donate animal food to foster families taking care of a puppy or kitten at their home.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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Utah animal shelter adjusts to COVID-19