Ten days ago, when Gov. Tom Wolf issued a Stay at Home order for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, two life-sustaining organizations affirmed their commitment to their life-saving mission for homeless animals in Bucks County.
Bucks County SPCA and Women’s Animal Center are the largest animal welfare organizations that operate shelters throughout the county. Bucks County SPCA has shelters in Lahaska and Quakertown and Women’s Animal Center is located in Bensalem. Both organizations are dedicated to a life-saving mission 365 days a year.
Now, they must also take precautionary measures to ensure the health of staff members who must care for homeless animals throughout the duration of the State of Emergency due to the risk of COVID-19. Both organizations have closed their facilities to the public; however, shelter pets continue to receive veterinary care, socialization and outings in the play yards.
The Bucks County SPCA continues to offer critical services on a by-appointment basis, including adoptions and lost pet reclaims. Residents must call either BCSPCA shelter between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily to schedule an appointment. By carefully limiting the number of people in the shelter each day, members of the staff and public can maintain safe social distancing. Foster volunteers are needed to help with incoming litters of unwanted kittens.
The Women’s Animal Center adoption center is closed, but fostering is available through phone screenings and pets are then brought out to foster parents’ cars once a match is made. Their veterinary hospital has scaled back services to sick appointments with call-ahead screening between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“Although there is no evidence to suggest pets can carry COVID-19, pet owners may still find their beloved pet requires a veterinarian for a sudden illness, chronic condition, or for end-of-life services. Our veterinary team is ready to assist,” said Cathy Malkemes, CEO of Women’s Animal Center.
In accordance with the CDC’s recommendations, staff and volunteers at both organizations are practicing social distancing while they conduct their work and others are telecommuting where possible. “Our priority is for our dedicated staff and volunteers to remain healthy, while continuing to provide great care for our animals,” said Linda Reider, executive director for Bucks County SPCA.
The Bucks County SPCA and Women’s Animal Center are independent not-for-profit businesses that provide essential services without any government funding. Since the Stay at Home Order, fees for services have been greatly reduced and will ultimately affect operations moving forward. The organizations are seeking financial donations to guarantee their life-saving work in the months ahead. All donations support the shelter of the stray, abandoned and abused animals in Bucks County. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so by visiting the organization websites and social media pages at bcspca.org and womensanimalcenter.org.