HELENA — The Lewis and Clark Humane Society (LCHS) is closed to the public, for at least the immediate future, to help limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
Staff have been split into two teams to make sure animals are taken care of, and the shelter is following CDC guidelines for cleaning.
All animals are still available for adoption, but in order to limit exposure to staff the Humane Society has moved to curbside service.
Executive Director Kelsee Dalton Watts said there’s no question, this will have a big impact on LCHS.
“To really look at what the impact is going to be, I just don’t think any of us can really estimate exactly what it’s going to look like but it’s bad,” said Dalton. “I think all nonprofits are feeling that right now that it’s just going to be a really big struggle. For us we’re going to lose a significant amount of income coming in from donations from our big fundraiser Spay-Ghetti, and adoptions are going to slow down unfortunately. It’s just what’s going to happen.”
LCHS is asking people to strongly consider fostering an animal at this time.
Dogs and cats can’t get COVID-19, and staff say an animal can be a great companion for social distancing.
“Our biggest priority right now is getting animals out of the shelter,” said Dalton. “We’re really looking for people who don’t currently have animals because we do have some animals that prefer to be the star of the show.”
Dalton says the longer the COVID-19 epidemic goes on, the larger the impact will be on nonprofits like LCHS.
“I think right now we just really need to come together as a community and support the things that we believe in. That’s including small businesses and nonprofits because everyone is going to be hurting,” said Dalton.
People interested in adopting or fostering should contact the Humane Society adoption counselors. More information about the animals available for adoption or fosters can be found here.