While We Remain Separated, We Are All in This Together!
Together, we have made it through the first five weeks of self-isolation. Although the first few weeks were certainly challenging at the shelter, I’m immensely proud of how we have responded to ensure the continued health and safety of our animals, staff and the public.
While we remain temporarily closed to the public, we are still hard at work responding to these extraordinary conditions and offering vital services to the community. This includes our Families in Transition program for those facing temporary homelessness with pets that need emergency housing, or those families requiring emergency boarding of an animal due to a hospital stay. We’ve continued to take in emergency surrenders and have been working to provide important messaging for friends of the OMHS on how to deal with pets during this COVID pandemic.
We’ve seen tremendous support through this crisis with individuals and families wishing to foster an animal. However, over the next few weeks, we expect the number of cats requiring foster homes to rise significantly. Foster families help us get these wonderful animals ready to find their forever homes. If you are interested in fostering a cat, please connect with us here to learn more on how fostering makes a real difference. We sure could use your help!
We have been working on a plan to re-open adoptions by May 4th. I will share more details in my next update on how we plan to transition to a new virtual process that will ensure the safety of the public and staff.
When this pandemic first began, the OMHS had just launched a campaign to recruit monthly donors where all new donations would be matched by a friend of the Society up to $10,000. While the momentum of our campaign has been affected by this crisis, I do want to thank everyone who recently became a new monthly donor. Thanks to your support we are very close to meeting our goal of 75 new donors. We are only 15 new monthly donors short of our target and hope to achieve it soon!
We know that sheltering at home is hard and many of you need some good news stories. Personally speaking, I feel that there is no better way to bring a smile to your face than to check out our latest contestants in our Pet Photo Contest for the 2021 OMHS Calendar. These are some of the cutest animals you will ever see and all of them are helping us raise funds for vulnerable animals in our community. Who’s your favourite?
With the onset of social distancing, and not unlike other organizations, we’ve had to re-think how we deliver on our planned community initiatives. With people spending more time at home and online we’ve created a fun new game to play while your family is in isolation. I encourage you to register for Mission Pawsible: Homeward Bound. You’ll learn about how we care for the animals while helping the shelter. Please take a moment to learn more about how you can be part of the mission here!
As a friendly reminder for each of you, the services we continue to provide are:
- Care of the animals in the shelter
- Reuniting pets with owners
- Accepting stray animals
- Emergency surrenders (appointment only)
- Responding to sick/injured domestic and wildlife calls
- By-law investigations
- Assisting the police
Services that remain temporarily cancelled:
- In kind donations (wish list items) except for towels and sheets which are needed. Any other items left will be disposed of at a cost to the Shelter, so please do not leave anything during the closure.
- In-person financial donations (we encourage donations to be made online at omhs.ca)
- Children and Teen programs, community events and presentations
- Public visits/tours
- In-person licensing (licenses can be purchased online or over the phone)
- Barkin’ Bin Thrift Store
- Cremation services
- Adoptions (plan to re-open on May 4th)
Throughout this crisis, I’ve been amazed and so extremely proud of our team of staff and volunteers for their efforts to provide essential care and compassion for our animals both in the shelter and in foster homes. At the same time we have done everything possible to ensure we are doing our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Similar to other charities, we will experience financial challenges, however we all can be proud of what we’re doing to keep one another safe while caring for the animals in our community. I know we can look forward to better days ahead.
Oakville & Milton Humane Society