After modifying their operations last week in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Kingston Humane Society (KHS) has now decided to close its doors to the public as of Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2020.
During this closure, the local Humane Society has suspended all owner surrenders of animals, and adoptions will take place by appointment only.
“The Board of the Kingston Humane Society remains focused on the well-being of our staff and animals during this extremely difficult time,” said KHS President, Duane Wisniewski. “The outbreak of COVID-19 presents a very significant risk that we cannot take lightly.”
During the temporary closure to the public, KHS staff will continue to feed, treat, and house the animals in the shelter, and surgeries will continue as scheduled “to ensure all animals are spaye or neutered and ready for their forever homes,” the Humane Society said in a press release on Monday, Mar. 16, 2020. Adoption applications will be accepted online through the KHS website. Those applications will be approved by the KHS Customer Care Staff, and potential owners will be given appointments to come for a meet and greet and to take home their new family member.
Reclaims of lost pets will take place by appointment only during the closure, and all volunteers have been asked to stay home indefinitely.
Throughout the closure, the KHS will continue to accept animals from its municipal partners – the City of Kingston, North, Central and South Frontenac townships, Stone Mills Township, and Gananoque. The organization will also continue to work with provincial animal welfare officers.
“By being a responsible community partner we hope to protect our staff, animals and the general public from infection,” said Wisniewski. “Our staff is also taking broad steps to reduce the chance of infection by disinfecting more regularly, social distancing and working from home where possible.”
The Kingston Humane Society would like to stress that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no evidence that companion animals have been infected or could carry COVID-19.
For a list of all cancellations and closures in relation to COVID-19 response, click here.