HUMANE SOCIETY OF EL PASO TEMPORARILY CLOSING TO PUBLIC TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY'S EFFORTS TO REDUCE SPREAD OF COVID-19
The El Paso Humane Society (HSEP) will be closing to the public starting Thursday, March 19, 2020. The independent not-for-profit shelter anticipates reopening in April. This decision came out of an abundance of caution and in response to El Paso health officials' recommendation to reduce face-to-face contact to prevent the spread of infectious disease.
"Our commitment to providing comfort and care to vulnerable animals remains as strong as ever," said Executive Director Deb Benedict. "Be assured that the dogs, cats, and small critters entrusted to us will continue to receive the care and attention they deserve and need."
The shelter has been proactively managing its COVID-19 response preparation since the beginning of March. Services and activities that were scheduled to happen within the timeframe of this temporary public closure will be suspended and rescheduled for later dates. This includes HSEP education events, media segments, and fundraising events. Additionally, all staff and volunteers not required onsite for direct animal care and who would feel more comfortable working remotely will be encouraged to do so. The shelter currently has 120 dogs and cats in foster care. HSEP staff will continue to provide support and supplies to all the volunteer foster families.
"We will continue to monitor and evaluate how best to respond to this issue," Benedict said. "Our goal is to protect our community of both people and pets from unnecessary exposure to large groups of people and to contribute to our region's efforts to slow transmission by reducing gatherings of large groups of people. We greatly appreciate the community's support as we work to ensure public safety and provide our staff and volunteers with the opportunity to focus on their own health and personal care."
While domesticated animals are not impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, this is a good opportunity to review your pets' role in your disaster preparedness plan. Both Humane Society veterinary staff and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that pet owners keep on hand the following: a two-week supply of food and water for each pet in your care, a two-week supply of each pet's medications, and a file that contains each pet's care plan, vaccination and ownership records, microchip information, and a preferred contact in case of emergency.
As this is a fluid situation, the shelter asks that the public monitor its website, ww.hselpaso.org, and their social media channels for regular updates, as the closure timeline is subject to change based on guidance received from local and national public health officials.