COVID-19 Press Release

Lawrence Humane Society Seeks Public Help for Shelter Response to COVID-19 Concerns

LAWRENCE, KAN. – March 17th, 2020 — New protocols put in place for the health and well-being of the animals, shelter staff, and the community at large. 

As COVID-19 concerns rise, the Lawrence Humane Society is asking for the public’s help caring for homeless animals. The LHS typically provides shelter for several thousand animals per year. However, the organization is concerned about the impact COVID-19 will have on their ability to provide care for animals at their facility over the coming weeks. 

There are three ways people can help pets during this time of uncertainty:

1. Provide temporary care for an animal through the LHS Foster Program

2. Provide temporary care for lost animals and search for the owner using online resources, rather than bringing them to the shelter. 

3. Wait to surrender a pet to the shelter until after the COVID-19 threat is reduced, unless it is an emergency. 

“Our main focus at this point is reducing the overall number of animals housed at our shelter,” said Shannon Wells, Executive Director at the Lawrence Humane Society. “We expect our intake to increase and our adoptions to slow down, which is a predictable pattern that occurs any time people feel uncertain.” 

Because it is unknown how long heightened concerns about COVID-19 will remain, foster homes are needed for an undefined period of time. The LHS will help caregivers promote the pets for adoption. The shelter can provide foster families with crates, food, and any other supplies needed to care for the shelter animal. 

“Our foster program is an ongoing effort giving animals a much needed break from the chaotic shelter environment,” Wells said. “But in this case, it also allows us to prepare for pressures that COVID-19 is putting on our shelter and pets in our care. We want to make sure every animal is cared for and the only way we can do that is to move animals into safe homes until the crisis is over.” 

There is currently no concern that animals can contract COVID-19. Animal lovers are free to open their heart and home to a foster pet without fear! 

If you are interested in helping by fostering a shelter animal temporarily, please call 785-843-6835 or sign up online by clicking here. A staff member will be in contact to schedule a curb-side pickup. 

“If you are unable to foster but would still like to help, please consider making a donation to the shelter,” Wells said. “We know money is tight for people in uncertain times and the same is true for the shelter. These amazing animals still need care, even when our revenue streams are stalled.” 

To donate to the Lawrence Humane Society, please click here. 

Temporary COVID-19 Response Protocols:

The Lawrence Humane Society is also taking steps to mitigate potential exposure to staff and prevent potential spread to the community. Along with being closed on Tuesday, March 17th, until further notice, the organization has adopted the following policies: 

  •  The shelter will be closed to all visitors without an appointment.
  • Community members are urged to visit and view the adoptable animals. If you find a pet you would like to adopt, you will need to call the shelter at 785-843-6835
  • All public services (i.e. low-cost spay and netuer, and microchipping) are temporarily paused.
  • All training and orientations have been canceled. 

Until the community has controlled the threat COVID-19 poses, the LHS will once again welcome any and all visitors with open arms. 

“We are so grateful to the community for their commitment to the animals and for their understanding during this trying time,” Wells said. “The Lawrence Humane Society is trying to do our part to limit COVID-19 in Lawrence, Douglas County, and all of the Kansas City Metropolitan area. We can’t say enough how much we appreciate the community’s support and understanding.” 

Pet owners are encouraged to be proactive in planning for their own pets by making arrangements for their furry family members in case someone in the home falls ill and needs to be hospitalized. It is also advised to stock up on extra pet food and essential pet supplies. 
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