Langley animal protection agencies that look after everything from cats to dogs, to rabbits and bears and more, are being forced to make changes as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
Some are postponing events, while other are looking into moving them online and all are being even stricter about hand-washing and other sanitation protocols.
C.A.R.E.S. (Canadian Animal Rescue and Extended Shelter) has temporary closed its adoption centre at the Lamgkey PetSmart store due to virus concerns, president Carol Briner said.
“Our other operation, the shelter, remains the same,” Briner added.
“Adoptions are being done from the shelter.”
Spokesperson Clive Ellis said C.A.R.E.S. already requires hand-washing and other protocols that would prevent human-to-human spread of a virus, Ellis added.
“Now, we are almost to the point of paranoia [when it come to] cleaning all surfaces, ” Ellis said.
Gail Martin, founder of Langley’s Critter Care wild animal rehabilitation centre, said because the centre is not open to the public (with the exception of their annual summer open house), their focus is on the health of the people who work there.
“We’re very, very particular” about washing hands and general sanitation, Martin told the Langley Advance Times.
“We’re watching a little more carefully” to make sure proper procedures are followed” Martin elaborated.
Martin said the arrival of four interns from the UK was postponed for 10 weeks because of concerns about the coronavirus.
As well, Critter Care’s annual “Gala For The Critters,” which was scheduled for April, has been moved back to May 23rd.
Concerns about the coronavirus could scuttle the annual Furry Tails Foot Race, a major fundraiser for the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS).
Last year, 130 people registered for the annual 5K and 10K fun run and walk through Derby Reach Regional Park, raising about $10,000 to help the stray, lost, and abandoned dogs and cats being cared for at Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove.
LAPS executive director Jayne Nelson said the non-profit society was looking into changing to an “alternate,” virtual version of the run that would be held online.
Other events will be kept small enough to allow “social distancing” between people, Nelson related.
All LAPS staff and volunteers have been told follow virus guidelines, including staying home if they become ill.
“We have stepped up our cleaning protocols,” Nelson said.
Because of the virus, Aldergrove-based Small Animal Rescue Society cancelled a bunny yoga class that was scheduled for Thursday, Mach 12.
It was a popular fundraiser for the volunteer-run organization that takes in rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, degus, chinchillas, hedgehogs, reptiles, birds, and ferrets.
Instead of operating a public shelter, the society relies on multiple foster homes throughout the Lower Mainland to help care for animals until they’re adopted.