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Animal Shelter continues mission amid Coronavirus pandemic

Even though the Bainbridge-Decatur County Animal Shelter is closed to the public, the work still must go on to care for the approximately 100 animals currently in the facility.

Director Ashley White said the staff of nine continues to come to work each day and perform their duties in their assigned areas. They are not to mingle with others, and are advised when their shift is over to go home and stay there. “We are staying apart,” she explains. “We cannot afford to get sick. The animals depend on us for their food, shelter and care.”

Cleaning and sanitizing are ongoing throughout the day and if workers are through with their tasks, they can always take a dog out for a walk.

White said as of right now they have adequate cleaning supplies, as well as food. “We are comfortable this week, but donations will be going down as this crisis continues, I fear.”

Animals may be surrendered, but by appointment only at a later date. White believes she will see an increase is surrenders as the panic continues, people lose their jobs, income and ability to provide care for their pets. “We will do all in our power to help people keep their pets, including referrals to food clinics.”

This week and for the continued future, Animal Control will only pick up in emergency situations, such as if an animal is injured or has been involved in an attack.

Fortunately, rescues are still happening. Nineteen went out to rescue this week with the help of three air flights and one ground transport from the shelter rescue partners.

Meanwhile, the outdoor play groups are continuing and the dogs are having a great time running and playing together in the fenced in area. “If you are out and about, you can always park across the road and watch them play,” said White.

The question then becomes whether or not veterinary care is still open and available to the public.

A call to Bryan and Hight Veterinary Clinic found they are still working and providing regular care, as veterinary care is deemed essential, but only staff and patients are allowed inside the building. Pet owners can call ahead and park outside the front office where a staff worker will come out and carry the pet into the office. If it becomes necessary to keep the pet overnight, the doctor will come out and talk with the owner, explaining the situation.

The advice remains the same. Stay home if you can, and keep yourself and your pets safe.

The Humane Society is located at 1250 Cox Ave. across from the Bill Reynolds Sports Complex.