Columbus animal shelter combatting COVID-19

Columbus animal shelter combatting COVID-19

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - While many organizations are offering aid to people in need during the coronavirus pandemic, one aspect people seem to forget is cats and dogs and shelters across the country.

Many shelters, such as the Paws Humane Society of the Chattahoochee Valley, are facing hardships such as running at full capacity with kennels full of animals in need of adoption, but operating with limited supplies.

Due to many people staying at home quarantining themselves within their house, Paws has not been able to receive the help they have grown to depend on, according to CEO Tricia Montgomery.

“Right now, we are all hands on deck. We have laid off our volunteers and our community service workers, keeping them safe. But we also want to keep our staff safe as well. So, we have provided many measures for sanitation and social distancing,” Montgomery said.

Another fear circulating on the internet is that dogs and cats can get the coronavirus, which Montgomery confirmed is false.

“I’m going to make it very clear that dogs and cats cannot contract COVID-19. It is not transmitted from dog to dog, or dog to people, or cats to people. That is a rumor on the internet that you are hearing and seeing. Check your facts, check with the CDC, check with the American Medical Veterinary Association and check with Paws Humane Society. We have accurate information for you,” she said.

If the trend of the coronavirus continues and people stop adopting or fostering the animals altogether, it will only make the situation worse while kennels continue to fill up, according to Courtney Pierce, director of adoptions and intake.

“Right now, our capacity is anywhere from 100 to 130 animals at any given time," Pierce said. "So, what’s happening now is that we are having to operate at full capacity but on limited supply. Even though we are limiting the number of people that can come into the shelter, we still need adopters and we still need those donations.”

Montgomery added there is no better way to help out during these uncertain times then by considering to foster or adopt from Paws. In addition to having a four-legged friend keep you company while you're cooped up, multiple studies have shown having an animal can help increase serotonin in your brain which releases feelings of happiness.

“I think in light of the pandemic and the fear of people right now, there is no better opportunity than now to adopt a dog or a cat from Paws Humane Society," she said. "You’re saving lives. You’re saving not only their life but your life too.”

For more information about Paws and how to adopt or foster an animal, click here.

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