UPDATED: March 16, 2020 – 9:00 AM
Dear Friend,
As a valued member of the Blue Ridge Humane Society family, we would like to update you on our preparation for COVID-19’s effects on Blue Ridge Humane Society and our community.
Fortunately, we in the animal sheltering world are professionally prepared to manage disease on a daily basis. Our team has strict sanitation protocols and uses disinfectant throughout our Adoption Center. High touch areas are cleaned multiples times a day and visitors are always encouraged to wash their hands or sanitize to prevent the spread of any illness.
Our Adoption Center & Thrift Store are currently continuing normal operation hours. However, in order to respect social distancing as a preventive measure, we are suspending all meetings, special events, and community programs until April 1st. Blue Ridge Humane Society has created a comprehensive contingency plan developed to shift with this rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to share updates as they occur. It is our duty to keep you informed for the safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers, and the animals of our community.
 
Recommendations for Visitors, Staff, & Volunteers:
  • Those who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants).
  • Regular and frequent hand-washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before eating, after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after touching dirty surfaces is essential. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, and there is no visible dirt on your hands.
  • Practice good coughing and sneezing etiquette (using the inside bend of your elbow). If you use a tissue, use it once, throw it in the trash and then wash your hands.
What Can You Do To Help?
With a potential decrease in staff due to risk of exposure and a probable increase in animals entering shelters, we need our community’s help.  
  • FOSTER HOMES NEEDED: We are seeking foster families who are willing to house animals during a time when our Adoption Center might not be fully staffed to do so. Please consider opening your heart and home to a homeless during this pandemic. We provide food, supplies, and medical care. You provide your lifesaving home and love. Social distancing doesn’t exist when you’re spending your time with a pet in need! Contact foster@blueridgehumane.org for more information.
  • SUPPLIES NEEDED: When shopping for supplies, consider picking up an extra bag of pet food, a bottle of hand sanitizer, or a package of paper towels for our Adoption Center. We need them daily to function and are feeling the effects of the surge in their demand. You can drop them off during operating hours at our Adoption Center or Thrift Store.
  • ADOPT: Help us clear our Adoption Center. We currently have amazing pets in our care looking for a home. If you’ve considered adding a four-legged member to your family, now is a great time!
Prepare Your Pets:
Pets are a significant part of our families and communities; plans should be in place at a community level for any emergency.
  • Identify a family member or friend who can care for pets if someone in the household becomes ill.
  • Have crates, food, and extra supplies on hand for quick movement of pets.
  • Keep all animal vaccines up to date in the event boarding becomes necessary.
  • Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering directions. Including a prescription from your veterinarian is also helpful.
  • Pets should have identification: collar with ID tag and microchip (best practice is microchipping).
  • Visit https://www.blueridgehumane.org/resources/emergency-preparedness/ for more information.
Thank you for everything you do for the animals of our community each and every day.
With Sincere Gratitude,
Angela Prodrick 
Executive Director
Blue Ridge Humane Society