Rescue Village Updates on COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Dear Friends,

It is still a stretch for many of us to wrap our heads around the immense changes shaping all of our lives. I hope all of you and your loved ones are well and adjusting to the “new normal” which is anything but normal.

I will quickly share some information impacting the animals at the shelter as well as the people and pets in our community.

-Are your companion animals going to get COVID-19? The basic answer is NO. Are your companion animals going to give people COVID-19? The basic answer is NO. However, if you or anyone in your home has the virus, we recommend following the guidelines set forth by the CDC. If possible, have another member of your household care for your animal while you are sick. If you must continue to care for your animal, avoid close contact, and wash your hands before and after interacting with them. Further studies are needed to understand how different animals could be affected by COVID-19, but until we know more about the virus, the best option is to maintain the same cautious and sanitary procedures that you are using around humans.

-We also strongly recommend creating a plan for your pet in the case that you are sick and require hospitalization or if you are unable to leave your home for a period of time. Identify someone willing and able to care for your pet if something were to happen. Additionally, put together an emergency kit for your pet that includes at least two weeks’ worth of food and any needed medications. You should also write down any information about your pet that would be helpful to a caregiver such as veterinarian contact info, behavioral tendencies, habits, and food preferences.

-Starting on Thursday, March 19, we will begin doing animal adoptions by appointment only. Please check our website and our Facebook page for details. We will, of course, be paying great attention to conducting these adoptions safely.

-We anticipate a growing number of job losses and layoffs. Rescue Village is committed to helping to keep people and their pets together. The companionship is so important in these times and we want to avoid animals being surrendered to shelters as much as possible. Therefore, we are continuing our Pet Food Pantry. For those who are able, we would greatly appreciate donations of cat and dog food (smaller, 15-16lb bags are better). You can leave donations outside the front door of the shelter or have orders delivered to 15463 Chillicothe Road, Novelty, OH 44072. If you need to use the Pet Food Pantry or want to learn more, please check our website for details.

Finally, please let me know if you have any questions. We are all learning about this virus together, and together we will get through this!

Sincerely,

Hope Brustein
Executive Director

March 16, 2020

Dear Friends,

Many things have occurred since our last update including the closing of schools, bars and restaurants, as well as a call from Governor DeWine for physicians, veterinarians, and dentists to voluntarily cease elective surgeries. Additionally, we continue to hear of the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, the U.S., and around the world. Like you, all of us at Rescue Village want to align with official updates about new measures and the best understanding of how we all can help contain and mitigate COVID-19. Your health and safety, and that of our staff, volunteers, and animals, is of utmost importance.

In that light, we have decided to close Rescue Village to the public starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 18th, 2020 until further notice. Over the next few weeks we will continue to monitor the new developments on a daily basis, and we will re-evaluate our ability to open when we can safely do so. This means that adoptions, kids and humane education programs, and low-cost spay/neuter TNR and Fix It in the Farmland programs are suspended until further notice.

Donations can be made online and through the mail. Contributions of food, paper towels and other items can be dropped at the front door. Our shelter wish list can be found here.

We have over 60 animals in the shelter as of this writing and will rely on staff and volunteers who are able to work safely to take care of their needs. We have also erected an emergency foster network. Further animal intake will be curtailed to give priority to sick, injured, abused, and neglected animals. If you feel you must surrender your pet, please call Rescue Village to talk to an intake counselor. Our hope is to help you get what you need in order to keep your pet in your care.

These are challenging times for everyone. As your community shelter, and a whole lot more, we are dedicated to helping animals and people through this storm. To do this, we need your support more than ever. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Hope Brustein
Executive Director