The BC SPCA announced on Thursday, March 19 that they are restricting access to shelters due to concerns of COVID-19.
While the public is no longer allowed to visit shelters province-wide, staff and volunteers will remain on site to care for the adoptable animals.
Christy King, Manager of the East Kootenay BC SPCA Branch, says that despite the public closure, the local branch is still encouraging people to adopt the 26 animals that they currently have in their care.
“We are definitely still encouraging adoption, but the process has changed a little bit,” King explained. “Right now we are not open to the public, but all of our adoptable animals can be viewed online. Those wanting to adopt can find an animal on our website and fill out an application, which gets sent directly to our email. We will then call to schedule an appointment to see the animal one-on-one.”
King explained that there are a few animals currently being fostered, as well as several others that they are getting ready to list.
“The best place for any of these animals to weather out this COVID-19 storm is in a loving home,” King said. “Right now, we have several existing fosters who work with us year-round. So we’re going through and tallying up who is available. If need be, we are open to new foster families as well.”
The local branch will not be accepting applications for new volunteers at this time however.
“We are really trying to limit the number of people in the building right now so unfortunately we can’t accept any new volunteers,” King said.
She adds that the best way to help would be to adopt or to donate.
“We do expect that throughout this situation we may need donations of supplies. So people are more than welcome to drop off their donations, we just ask that they are left at the front door and that no one come inside the building to do so,” said King.
In a press release issued March 18 from the BC SPCA, the organization stated that they will not be accepting surrendered animals unless it is an emergency situation.
King confirmed that is the case here in Cranbrook, and says there are some alternative options for people who may find themselves in that position.
“We cannot take any animals unless it’s an emergency. We need the animals that we currently have to be properly cared for,” King said. “When someone surrenders an animal to us, we always recommend that they check with family and friends first. We are also available to give advice over the phone, wether it’s a way to overcome the problem, or other options. We recommend that anyone who finds themselves in a situation like that call us for advice.”
To view animals that are available for adoption or to donate to the SPCA, visit their website at spca.bc.ca.