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Animal shelter in Golden helps care for pets of owners infected by coronavirus

Posted: 10:02 PM, Mar 26, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-27 19:30:05-04
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GOLDEN, Colo. — Foothills Animal Shelter is stepping in to help community members battling COVID-19. A spokesperson with the shelter says they can't do it alone, which is why they're turning to you for financial support.

The shelter is caring for the pets of Jefferson County residents who test for positive for the new virus and need to focus on their health. It’s all part of a Protective Custody program Foothills Animal Shelter offers. The pet care is free for ten days, but with so much uncertainty around COVID-19, the time limit has been lifted.

Jenny Homan, the marketing and community engagement manager at the shelter, said they have taken in three pets from a resident or residents who contracted COVID-19.

“Not everybody has a friend or family member that can take care of their pet when they become sick or if they are going through housing issues, and we are that resource for them to support them,” Homan said.

To qualify for the program, you must be a Jefferson County resident and need to contact an animal shelter agency or a law enforcement agency to receive the pet care.

“We do expect that number to increase as we see more cases pop up in our state,” Homan said.

She said it’s why they began to prepare two weeks ago and found foster homes for 75 pets. The shelter has 600 kennels and it’s currently home to 30 pets.

“We wanted to be prepared in the case of an emergency,” Homan said.

Earlier this month, the shelter was forced to postpone a fundraiser due to the coronavirus. To abide by the stay-at-home mandate, the shelter put adoptions, licensing and microchipping on pause, services the shelter relies on keep operations running.

“We are still taking care of pets and doing our life-saving work for these animals, so donating online is the best way to support us right now,” Homan said.

The facility will continue to take in lost or surrendered pets and provide life-ending services.

“We do have the staff that are there taking care of them and making sure that they are getting all the love and exercise that they need,” she said.

To limit traffic, Foothills Animal Shelter has also altered their hours. At this time, the shelter is not accepting in-kind donations.

Animals brought in due to COVID-19 are kept in a separate area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no one has reported an animal sick with COVID-19.