Niagara SPCA makes shelter changes to keep people safe during coronavirus pandemic

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NIAGARAG FALLS N.Y. (WIVB) – Emergency vet clinics throughout the state have seen an increase in pet owners requiring assistance after many clinics stopped offering routine services during the coronavirus pandemic. Now that veterinarians are able to get back to work this week, Niagara SPCA Vet Chris Brown says it should take off the pressure experienced at emergency vet clinics.

Since the Niagara SPCA is an animal shelter, the organization did not have to deal with a rush of clients.

“What we have been getting though, is people calling and saying my vet can’t take me can you help me out?” Brown said. “And unfortunately that’s something we can’t do.”

Brown says they’ve been able to help those who are fostering cats and dogs from the SPCA, but even then they have to enter the building through a separate entrance.

“I have my surgery which is sterile and check on the animals in here,” he said. “So for me personally not much has changed especailly in a shetler setting you know it’s a little different for those that serve the public more for routine things.”

A few guidelines the shelter put in place include having people set up one hour appointments to view the animals that are up for adoption in advance. The shelter is also limiting how many surrender animals they take in. This helps the staff manage the workload in a safe way.

Brown says having veterinarians get back to work can mean more for all pets because they won’t have to go to a different clinic than they’re used to.

“Plus this is better because there is a rapport between you know you and your veterinarian, your animal and who’s taking care of it and back towards normalcy as well which is where we all hope to get,” Brown said.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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