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.

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