Like many organizations, the Montreal SPCA is doing its part to protect animals, its employees, and the public during the COVID-19 outbreak. With many Montrealers cooped up in the house for at least a couple of weeks, some of you might be thinking that this would be the perfect time to adopt an animal because there's nothing like a fur friend in a time of crisis. The good news is, the SPCA is more than happy to accommodate you, so long as you practice safe hygiene.
"Our adoptions are still open and we actually have good numbers for adoptions now," says Élise Desaulniers, director of Montreal's SPCA. "This is really good news because it shows people want to help and people want to foster animals."
The SPCA noticed this increase in adoptions before the onset of the current health crisis. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced the SPCA, like many organizations in Quebec, to review its policies.
"It's really hard to anticipate what the next few weeks and months will look like. We'll stay open but we might change the way we're doing things," says Desaulniers.
"Maybe adoptions will be on appointment or something like that. We want the animals to stay at the shelter for the shortest time possible."
With all this bad news going around, you'll be happy to hear that this pandemic is seeming to decrease the number of overall pet abandonments.
"We haven't seen more abandonments. I think we've been really proactive in the community to keep everyone aware and to give all the facts about the situation," says Desaulniers.
The SPCA is currently operating with low staff due to the coronavirus outbreak, so even if the rate of abandonments increased, it wouldn't be feasible for the organization to accept them.
COVID-19 | An important message from the Montreal SPCA: https://t.co/gxY7gBqwN7
The SPCA's employees are also taking measures to protect themselves from the possible contraction of COVID-19. Desaulnier tells MTL Blog that the organization is following the guidelines according to government recommendations.
"Remember that we're a very bio-safe environment. We're almost like a hospital here," says Desaulniers.
As the situation evolves and spring gives way to summer, the SPCA might have to reevaluate how they train forever home candidates.
"Over the next few weeks, we'll probably do our training online because, keeping in mind that we don't just give an animal to someone, we have to train that person to take care of the animal."
Summer is also the organization's high season when it comes to adoptions, so the SPCA will wait and see what happens.
"We'll definitely have more animals in the summer. We'll need foster families for them and it's good to know that the community is not afraid of pets and is there to help us," says Desaulniers.
More information on recommended hygienic practices during the COVID-19 pandemic is available on the government of Canada's website here.