JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Humane Society is asking for the public’s support to empty the shelter of dogs and cats in their care, anticipating additions with the closer of the city shelter over coronavirus.
The city of Jacksonville’s shelter, Animal Care and Protective Services, which has closed intake for the past two weeks, has closed entirely for an additional two weeks, leaving JHS as the only agency to handle stray or lost pets, owner surrenders and families in crisis.
JHS needs to keep the number of pets at a manageable level should staffing and volunteer help be limited.
JHS is offering free adoptions this week. JHS will remain open for adoptions during normal business hours, which includes 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
There is no cost to foster a pet. Fosters should be prepared to foster pets for at least 14 days. Supplies are provided while they last; all medical care is covered by JHS.
“The community came out this weekend to foster and adopt, but we still have many animals in need,” said Denise Deisler. “Pets are excellent companions, they make great work-at-home assistants, and you’ll be serving your community at a time when it’s most needed.”
JHS is seeking help in the following ways:
- Adopt: JHS adoption hours are currently weekdays 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adoption fees are waived this week.
- Foster: If you are able to foster a dog or cat, come to JHS during adoption hours and inquire at the front desk.
- Donate: Those who cannot adopt or foster can support these efforts using jaxhumane.org/donate.
JHS’s Adoption, Pet Help and Veterinary Services departments remain open regular hours at this time. All non-essential programming, such as Pawsitive Reading and training classes, are postponed until further notice.
In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, the Jacksonville Humane Society would like to emphasize the following information:
- There is currently no known reason to believe that any animals, including pets in the United States, can contract or spread COVID-19.
- To date, the CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.
- The CDC recommends following everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of any illness, which includes washing your hands after interacting with animals.
For information on pets and COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html. The Jacksonville Humane Society recommends that pet owners make the same preparations they would in the event of any emergency. This includes but is not limited to, making a plan with your friends and family about who will care for your pets in the event that you cannot, having supplies readily available, and keeping pet vaccinations up to date in case you must consider boarding your pets.