With the stay at home orders altering the daily operations of most shelters and rescue organizations -- like restricted veterinary care or dealing with a surge of interested fosters, what has been your biggest challenge during the COVID-19 crisis?
The negativity from a few volunteers when we paused on site volunteering during the shelter in place order. We have 9 full-time staff members, did curbside adoptions, emergency intake, transfers, and were only at 25% capacity on dogs and 45% capacity on cats. Yet they posted on several social media sites that we would not clean or feed the dogs if no volunteers were there, that we would not exercise the dogs, that other shelters were moving animals but we weren't...We had 33 adoptions in April during the shut down and our local humane society had none...
Very disappointed to read you were treated in this manner.. negative posting on social media.. hopefully you're able to post your positive results.
Having to suspend events & community outreach. We had really started to get momentum with some of our programs. We can pick up where we left off, but expecting to modify due to lingering social distancing requirements.
Have to find interesting things or work to kill the time. NO party, NO meeting - so terrible.
We are now doing curbside adoptions instead of being able to spend more time with adopters. Our prison program may have to delay new dogs entering due to the virus and some trainers being ill. Every 10 weeks a new group goes in and next week the group that is there now will be graduating and going to their forever homes. We are unable to do fundraising events at locations that we would normally be at as everything has been canceled.
We're missing out on weekly public events that would have helped us raise money, awareness and interest in adoption. Let's hope we can keep our September event on the books! We've had some successful online fundraisers ... but man, we sure miss having that face-to-face contact. I need to look into new ways to share our message virtually, and that requires going outside the "comfort zone."
Getting dogs in from the high-kill shelter we pull from has been challenging because of Spay/Neuter not being essential and the shelter not being allowed to transport dogs. Despite that, in April we did 78 adoptions which is pretty remarkable. But it's so exhausting because the number of applications is insane. We are in WI but we have people driving in from all over the state, IL, MN, and MI to find dogs. Let's just say that not all people handle disappointment with grace. Our rescue shelter has always been funded primarily by our grooming, daycare, and boarding along with donations and events. We do not have deep-pocket donors and losing the income from all of our events and having no revenue from our other services has been challenging to the point that there is a huge possibility that we will close our doors unless people begin to work and travel and we get dogs in.