COVID-19 Updates from EHS

This page will be updated regularly with information about how EHS is responding to COVID-19 as the situation develops. Please check back regularly.

Have questions on how COVID-19 may impact your pets or looking for resources to support them through this pandemic?

See COVID-19 Resources for Pet Guardians




CURRENT STATUS OF PROGRAMS/SERVICES

Status Legend:

  • Modified – program/service is currently running with changes
  • On Hold / Temporarily Closed – program/service is not running at this time
  • Cancelled – program/service will not be running in 2020

For details on our phased re-launch, click here.

Program or Service Current Status Expected Opening
Admitting Modified Limited intake of animals by appointment dependent on availability, including: emergencies, surrenders, and healthy stray dogs and small animals (found outside Edmonton).

For information on surrendering a pet, click here.

For emergencies or strays found outside Edmonton, call 780-491-3522.

Adoptions Modified Online adoption process with in-shelter appointments and curbside/contact-less options available. Click here for details.
Bingo’s Pet Shop Modified Open by appointment and for adopters. Limit of one (1) customer in store at a time. Please call 780-491-3510 to make an appointment.
Central Bark Off-Leash Dog Park Temporarily Closed Closed as of Wednesday, November 24. Re-opening date TBD.
Cremations Modified By appointment only. Click here for details.
Doggie Daycare Temporarily Closed Closed as of Friday, November 27. Re-opening date TBD.
Gift-In-Kind Donations Modified For the safety of EHS staff, we are currently only able to accept new items. Please call 780-491-3507 to make an appointment for drop-off. You can also order items through our Amazon Wish List to have them shipped directly to the shelter. Financial gifts may also be made online here.
Humane Education Programming Modified Visit our Humane Education At Home page for resources and virtual activities.
Kids’ Birthday Parties On Hold Re-opening date TBD.
Kids’ Camps Cancelled Winter break camps cancelled for 2020. Spring break 2021 camps TBD.
Mobile PALS Unit On Hold Cancelled for 2020.
Muddy Paws Dog Wash Temporarily Closed Re-opening date TBD.
Private Behaviour Consultations Modified Offered by appointment with virtual option available. Click here for details.
Rentals On Hold Re-opening date TBD.
Spay & Neuter Programs (PALS, TNR) PALS – Modified

TNR – On Hold

Currently booked PALS appointments will continue with curbside drop-off and pick-up.

TNR program has closed for the winter season.

Training Classes On Hold On hold as of Friday, November 27. Re-opening date TBD.
Volunteer Programs Modified Select programs for current volunteers running with strict safety measures in place.

New volunteer applications not being accepted at this time.

STATUS OF EVENTS

Event Name Current Status
Pets in the Park 2020 Virtual event held September 20, 2020. Click here for details.
MADE for PETS: Summer Edition Cancelled
Puttin’ Fore Paws Golf Tournament Hosted by Benefit Consultants Inc. Modified even held September 18, 2020. See details here.
MADE for PETS: Winter Edition Cancelled
Pet Pics with Santa 2020 Virtual event happening in December. Click here to sign up for event updates.


Statuses Last Updated: November 25, 2020 @ 11:00 AM MST

EDMONTON HUMANE SOCIETY ADAPTING SERVICES IN RESPONSE TO NEW HEALTH MEASURES

November 25, 2020 @ 11 a.m. MST

Throughout this pandemic, our priority at the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) has been keeping people and pets safe. It is particularly vital that we protect our staff and volunteers, so we can be here for the homeless animals who depend on us. We also believe it is important to do everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19, to protect the community who makes our work possible.

Following the new measures announced by the Government of Alberta on Tuesday, November 24, EHS will be making changes to our programs and services, including some additional voluntary measures in an extra effort to protect our team and community. The below changes will come into effect on Friday, November 27, with the exception of Central Bark Dog Park.

The following services will be temporarily closed:

  • Central Bark Dog Park (closed effective immediately)
  • Doggie Daycare
  • Dog training classes
  • Muddy Paws Dog Wash

The following programs and services will continue on a modified basis:

The following programs will be put on hold:

  • The Dog Behaviour & Training Methodology (DBTM) course that is currently in progress
  • Rentals of EHS spaces for group programs and events

Customers impacted by the above-mentioned changes will be contacted directly. A full list of EHS’ services and their current status can be viewed here.

As an animal shelter, many of EHS’ services are deemed essential. We are committed to doing everything we can to keep offering our critical services for people and animals in a safe and sustainable manner.

Our valued staff and volunteers will still be at our shelter seven days a week, providing compassionate care to our shelter animals and helping them find new homes. I want to take a moment to applaud the ongoing dedication of these individuals, who selflessly come in day after day to tend to the health and welfare of our animals despite the many challenges and changes that COVID-19 has brought. And to our administrative staff who have seamlessly adapted to working from home to keep our organization running behind-the-scenes, thank you.

Of course, we could not keep doing our work without the support of our community. I have been truly touched by each person who has generously donated or reached out to show their support, especially over the past eight months as you too have struggled through the uncertainty of these times.

As public health recommendations evolve, we will post any further updates to our response on this page.

Thank you, and please stay safe,

Liza Sunley
CEO
Edmonton Humane Society

EDMONTON HUMANE SOCIETY TO BEGIN OFFERING SELECT SERVICES BY APPOINTMENT

June 23, 2020 @ 6:00 PM MDT

With Alberta having recently moved into Stage 2 of the provincial re-launch strategy, the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) is now ready to enter phase two of our own re-launch. This means we will begin welcoming members of the public back into the shelter for specific services, by appointment.

Changes to services in phase two include:

  • Adopters will still be required to begin their adoption process through our online form, and starting today will have the option to schedule an appointment in-shelter for their meet-and-greet and consultation, as well as shop at Bingo’s Pet Shop when they pick up their new pet.
  • Animal intake will expand to include healthy stray dogs and small animals (found outside Edmonton) as well as increased surrenders by appointment.
  • Central Bark Dog Park will re-open to members July 1.
  • The Doggie Daycare and Muddy Paws Dog Wash will re-open July 2.
  • Dog training classes and behaviour consultations will start being offered in early July.

Clients of our Central Bark Dog Park, Doggie Daycare and training classes that were in progress when we closed will be contacted directly with more information in the coming days.

We are also looking forward to bringing back a limited number of volunteers to support animal care and enrichment in early July.

If our team is not healthy, we cannot be here to care for the health and welfare of the animals who depend on us each day. Therefore, we will be taking great attention and care as we move into this phase, as our priority remains keeping our staff, volunteers and greater community safe and healthy.

With health and safety top-of-mind, there are a number of measures we have put in place, including:

  • Adopters and any visitors with an appointment will be required to check in with security upon arrival.
  • All people entering the shelter are required to wear a non-surgical mask, per AHS guidelines, and must hand sanitize upon entering.
  • Protective barriers are in place at desks where staff and customers interact.
  • All employees, volunteers and contractors will undergo a mandatory daily health screening prior to entering the shelter.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitization protocols are in place, especially of high-touch surfaces.

We appreciate our community’s understanding and co-operation with these measures so we can continue to enrich the lives of people and animals and look forward to serving you in person soon!

Liza Sunley
CEO
Edmonton Humane Society

ONLINE ADOPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE

June 10, 2020 @ 2:30 PM MDT

Today, I’m excited to share with you that we can now facilitate online adoptions!

This new adoption process has been created to ensure the health and safety of you, our staff and our greater community while connecting pets with their new families. Some of the modifications we’ve made to ensure this include:

  • adoptions are done by appointment only;
  • requests to adopt must first be completed online;
  • where possible, we are doing virtual meet-and-greets. For dogs who require an in-person meet-and-greet, it is being done outdoors to maintain physical distancing, and;
  • curbside pick-up is being arranged to take home your new pet.

You can view all the details about our online adoption process here.

We have been testing out this new adoption process over the last two weeks with those who had expressed interested in adopting through our website since we had to put the program on hold in mid-March. It has been thrilling to start seeing animals go to their forever homes again, and I am so grateful that many people are choosing to adopt an animal in need.

I want to take a moment to express my sincere thanks to all the foster parents who kindly opened their homes to these animals when we closed in March, so that they could avoid a long-term stay in shelter. For those of you who decided to make the animal in your care a forever pet, congratulations on your new addition to the family! I also want to thank our animal care, medical and behaviour staff who remained dedicated to looking after the animals at the shelter day in and day out when they weren’t ready for a foster home. Their commitment to these animals has been remarkable during a time when we haven’t known what the future will bring. Our foster volunteers and staff have played a vital part of these animals’ journeys to find their new families.

Today marks a key milestone in the staged relaunch of all EHS’ programs and services with the opening of this new adoption process. We are continuing to take a thoughtful and measured approach to opening, so that we do not jeopardize the health of our staff and greater community – which ultimately, would have a negative impact on the animals who rely on us.

With the Government of Alberta having recently announced that the province’s stage two will begin this Friday, June 12, we are working hard to start our own second stage. This will include opening more in-person services at our shelter, with limitations to adhere to physical distancing and public health guidelines. More details on the timing of our second stage will be announced within the next two weeks. For information on how we’re approaching EHS’ relaunch, see our May 15 update here.

EHS – and the animals we serve – is so lucky to have such a loyal community who cares deeply about the welfare of animals. Thank you for your continued support of our work. And to those of you who are planning to adopt, we look forward to helping you find your new pet!

Liza Sunley
CEO
Edmonton Humane Society

AN UPDATE ON THE EDMONTON HUMANE SOCIETY’S RELAUNCH PLAN

May 15, 2020 @ 1:00 PM MST

It’s hard to believe we are approaching the two-month mark since we at the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS), and many other organizations, had to make the difficult decision to close our doors to the general public and learn how to navigate a world with COVID-19.

I have been so proud of the way our staff have handled this uncertain and ever-changing time, maintaining a steadfast commitment to ensuring the health and welfare needs of the animals who depend on us. During this time, we have been able to:

  • keep taking in emergency cases of animals in distress,
  • move 70% of our animals into foster homes to avoid a long-term stay in shelter,
  • shift our shelter operations model to focus on safely supporting our foster volunteers,
  • provide virtual private consultations for those experiencing behaviour issues with their pets while home, and;
  • provide online resources to help pet guardians navigate the pandemic with their pets.

It is vital that as we prepare to relaunch more programs and services, we continue to keep our staff healthy so that we can be here for the animals.

This is why we will be taking a thoughtful and measured approach to our staged relaunch, with the following principles guiding every decision:

  • Staff health and safety
  • Animal welfare
  • Community health

We know people are eager to return to a sense of normalcy in their lives with their pets – we are too. But we also recognize that if we rush to open, we could jeopardize the health of our staff and greater community. Although we’ll be prepared to be flexible, we want to avoid having to go backwards at any point, which could compromise the care of our shelter animals who have nowhere else to turn.

Our re-launch stages will be coordinated in line with the Government of Alberta’s strategy, and you can expect to see changes in our programs and services beginning approximately two weeks after each new provincial stage is reached. This will give us the necessary time to ensure we have the staffing, equipment, policies, procedures and training in place to optimally serve both people and pets while adhering to our guiding principles.

With Alberta having entered stage one on May 14, we are preparing to enter our own stage one for the beginning of June. This will include re-opening our adoptions through a modified, appointment-based process. Those who have been looking forward to getting a pet and who wish to be notified when adoptions are open can let us know here. We will gradually be bringing back the many animals who have been enjoying the last few months in foster care so that they can move into their forever homes, and are also working towards launching other services virtually. We will continue to limit the access to our shelter, again in an effort to keep our staff and the community healthy.

Our second stage is where we will begin to start serving people and pets in-person again, with limitations to maintain physical distancing. This would include our Bingo’s Pet Shop, Doggy Daycare, Training and Humane Education Classes, Muddy Paws Self-Serve Dog Wash, Central Bark Dog Park, and some volunteer programs. More information on what this will look like and when this will happen will be released once we know when the Government of Alberta is moving to stage two.

There are some programs and services, and in particular events, that we know sadly won’t be revived this year due to the impact of COVID-19. This includes our spay/neuter program in the mobile PALS unit, which does not have the space to safely accommodate physical distancing. For events, Pets in the Park, MADE for PETS: Summer Edition, and Dog Dive won’t be possible in their traditional formats either. We look forward to bringing our community together every year with these events and we know this news will disappoint pet guardians and pet lovers alike. A virtual, re-imagined version of Pets in the Park is in the works, however.

We appreciate the community’s understanding and patience as we move through these stages with care so that we can ensure we remain here for the animals. Your support makes our work possible, and it will be more important than ever as the lasting impacts of COVID-19 on people and pets are realized.

Thank you for continuing to be here for EHS, and the animals who count on us.

Liza Sunley
CEO
Edmonton Humane Society

EDMONTON HUMANE SOCIETY STATEMENT ON GOVERNMENT RE-LAUNCH STRATEGY

May 1, 2020 @ 9:00 PM MST

The Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) is aware that both the Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton have started to release details on their re-launch strategy.

We are in the process of reviewing these plans and preparing our own phased re-launch for EHS’ programs and services. Our priority remains keeping our staff safe and healthy so we can ensure optimal welfare for the animals in our care, while following the advice of public health authorities to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

At this time, we remain closed to the public and the status of our programs and services has not changed. We are still here for those animals who need us most and continue to take in animals on an emergency basis.

Any updates on the status of our programs and services will be posted on this page when available.

Thank you for your continued support,

Liza Sunley
CEO
Edmonton Humane Society

EDMONTON HUMANE SOCIETY DEEMED AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE BY THE ALBERTA GOVERNMENT

March 30, 2020 @ 3:00 PM MST

The Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) was thankful to learn on Friday evening that as an animal shelter, we are considered an essential service by the Alberta Government during this unprecedented time, along with other businesses who “provide for the health and welfare of animals.”

Animals, and the bond we have with them, play an important role in our lives and the greater community. We are grateful that the Province has recognized this and ensured animal welfare can be sustained by services like ours despite the challenges we all currently face. Without our shelter and the staff who are committed to caring for our animals, these vulnerable lives would have nowhere else to turn.

While we are now considered an essential service, EHS will continue to remain closed to the general public and volunteers to minimize traffic to the shelter and do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19. We will be here for those who most need us though, and continue to take in animals on an emergency basis. Anyone who has an animal that may need to come to our facility is reminded to call the EHS admitting department first at 780-491-3522 to make an appointment.

I also want to extend my personal thanks to all of those in our community who have continued to show support for EHS and our animals during these trying times. To those of you who have purchased spring lottery tickets, made monetary gifts, opened your homes to foster an animal, and sent kind-hearted messages of support – thank you. It is you who makes our work possible and keeps us going in this extraordinary situation.

Our team remains dedicated no matter what happens next, and we will continue to share any updates or new information as it arises to this page.

Liza Sunley
CEO
Edmonton Humane Society

EDMONTON HUMANE SOCIETY CLOSING TO GENERAL PUBLIC DUE TO COVID-19 TO FOCUS ON ESSENTIAL SERVICES ONLY EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

March 17, 2020 @ 10:30 AM MST

In an effort to limit the transmission of COVID-19 and with our priority on keeping people and pets in our community healthy and safe, the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) has made the decision to close our facility to the general public effective immediately until further notice.

This will include the closure, cancellation and/or postponement of the following programs and services:

  • Adoptions
  • Bingo’s Pet Shop
  • Central Bark Dog Park
  • Dog training classes
  • Doggie Daycare
  • Dog Behaviour & Training Methodology (DBTM) course
  • Humane education programs, including field trips, tours and birthday parties
  • Corporate volunteer groups
  • Rentals of EHS spaces for group programs and events
  • PALS (Prevent Another Litter Subsidy) spay/neuter appointments

Those impacted by the above-mentioned programs and services will be contacted directly.

During this closure we will focus on maintaining essential services, recognizing our important role in the community to serve pets in need. Animal care and medical staff will continue working to ensure our shelter animals have their health and welfare needs met throughout this time. EHS will also continue to take in a limited number of animals on an emergency basis, including the following:

  • Stray animals found outside of the city who are in distress due to illness or injury
  • Owner surrender animals who are in distress due to illness or injury or who are unable to find any alternative care arrangements
  • Transfers from partner agencies who have limited or no space for housing animals

Anyone who has an animal that may need to come to our facility is asked to call the EHS admitting department first at 780-491-3522 to make an appointment. Walk-ins cannot be accepted, as we must ensure we have the space and resources to properly care for each animal prior to their arrival.

We also want to take this opportunity to remind people that stray, adult cats who appear to be healthy should be left where they are. Cats have a ten times greater chance of finding their way home when left in their neighbourhood than when they are brought into an animal shelter. The City of Edmonton’s Animal Care & Control Centre (ACCC) should be contacted by calling 311 for concerns regarding strays found within city limits.

We are preparing for the possibility that due to the need for taking in animals while few animals are leaving our care, we may reach our capacity. While EHS will not euthanize any animal for time or space, it is imperative that we do not go over-capacity as this would compromise the welfare of the animals in our shelter. To ensure this does not happen, we are looking for emergency foster volunteers who would be willing to take in an animal, potentially for an extended period of time. Anyone who is able to help can sign up online here.

Please note that if you have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days, have had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, extreme tiredness) you will not be eligible to foster for the time being.

As a charity, we rely on the generosity of our community to support our work with caring for and re-homing abused, neglected and homeless companion animals. Donations to help us to continue our work during this challenging time are greatly appreciated, and can be made anytime online here. Although we are grateful to regularly receive donations of goods, we ask that people do not drop off items at our shelter while we are closed and instead donate their gifts online.

We continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 and will post any updates regarding our response on to this page.

Thank you all for your understanding and continued support,

Liza Sunley
CEO
Edmonton Humane Society

UPDATE @ 5:00 PM MST

Due to the outpouring of support from our community, we have temporarily closed applications for becoming a foster volunteer. We are incredibly grateful to everyone for their generosity and willingness to help animals in need.

Those who applied to become a foster volunteer that are not immediately matched with an animal will be kept on our foster contact list for when new animals come into our care who may be in need of fostering. In the meantime if you wish to support the care of our shelter animals, monetary donations are always appreciated and can be made online here.

We will re-open the application form when we are in need of more foster volunteers. Those who are still interested in fostering can sign up here to be notified when are accepting applications again.

EHS Response to COVID-19 & Recommendations for Pet Guardians

March 13, 2020 @ 7:15 PM MST

Over the past week the Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) has been closely monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and putting plans and precautionary measures in place to protect the health and safety of people and animals.

In our case as an animal shelter, if our staff, volunteers and supporters are not healthy, we cannot optimally meet the welfare needs of both the companion animals in our shelter and in the greater community.

While Alberta Health Services has assessed the risk of exposure as low at this time, this risk may increase in the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, we are taking the following steps to reduce the risk of transmission at EHS: 

  • Asking that any individuals who are at high-risk of having or carrying the illness do not enter our shelter. This includes:
    • Those who have traveled outside of Canada within the last 14 days, have had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, or are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, extreme tiredness).
  • Requiring that any staff, volunteers or foster parents who experience symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, extreme tiredness) stay at home.
  • Increasing the number of available hand sanitizers around our shelter and asking that everyone hand sanitize upon entering the building.
  • Posting safety messages around the shelter to increase the awareness and educate people on best health practices to limit the spread of illness.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), there is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus is circulating in animals in Canada. As this is a novel illness, this is still being studied however and new information is coming available each day. Pet guardians who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should following these recommendations from PHAC:  

  • Avoid close contact with pets
    • Do not snuggle or kiss them, or let them lick you, sit on your lap, or sleep in your bed
  • Avoid coughing and sneezing on your animals
  • Have another member of your household care for your animals
    • if this is not possible, always wash your hands before touching or feeding them
  • Limit your animal’s contact with other people and animals
    • this may mean keeping them indoors

To prepare for potentially having to stay at home in quarantine for extended periods of time, we also recommend pet guardians do the following:

  • Have an extra two weeks supply of pet food and supplies available, including any medications
  • Identify an emergency pet sitter who could care for your pet(s) if you fall ill or need to be hospitalized
  • Prepare a sheet with the daily care instructions for the emergency pet sitter, and include your veterinarian’s contact information

We will continue to stay up-to-date with new information that arises on COVID-19 and will make changes as necessary in line with recommendation of our public health agencies, with a priority on keeping people and animals healthy and safe.

This page will be updated regularly with information about how EHS is responding to COVID-19 as the situation develops.

In closing, we thank everyone for your understanding and continued support as we work our way through this evolving situation, and our thoughts go out to all those who have been impacted.

Liza Sunley
CEO
Edmonton Humane Society