SPRINGFIELD, Mo. While non-profits and veterinarians are considered essential businesses that can stay open during the 30 day stay at home order, animal adoptions are not essential. That means shelters like the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri will close to the public.
The Humane Society of Southwest Missouri hopes to get as many animals as possible into adoptive or foster homes today, Wednesday, March 25th, before they have to close to the public.
Allison Harvey had to cancel her birthday party this weekend, but has some new excitement.
"I’ve been thinking about getting a cat for a while, says Harvey. "I really really want one, and with my party getting cancelled, it just seemed like the perfect gift to myself and the perfect gift for one of these guys."
She’s trying to choose and is hoping to take one home today. It’s her last chance to adopt for the next month.
The humane society has been putting out a call to action, looking for people to foster and adopt before the doors close for 30 days.
"We will be staying open, operations open here at the shelter, throughout all of this, caring for animals," says Karen Foutch, Humane Society of Southwest Missouri director of development. "But our hope, it would be wonderful if the animals have a home to be in versus a shelter for the next 30 days."
The humane society is a no-kill shelter, and Foutch says that will not change because of the pandemic. They're about half full now, because of people offering to foster.
"I just want to make sure that any puppy who needs a home during this time has one," says Courtney Tay. "I know a lot of people aren’t able to give animals a home right now, because they’re not able to work or may not have a stable source of income."
Staff also want to open up space for that same reason.
"Unfortunately, what's going to happen, as people get sick or as they lose their jobs or just situations we may never even know, we feel that there's going to be a lot of activity of animals and people just not able to care for their animals, and they're going to come to us," says Foutch.
Harvey thinks the next 30 days will be the perfect time to get to know a new 4 legged friend.
"I go to the university, and all of my classes are online now, so I’m just going to be staying in my apartment, hanging out with my new cat and going to work when I have to, but that’ll be about all I’m doing," says Harvey.
They’re following social distancing requirements and can't have a crowd at the shelter, so they ask that you call for an appointment before showing up. That number is 417-833-2526. They have extended hours today, open until 9PM tonight.