Montgomery County Animal Shelter Advises Staff and Public on COVID-19 Safety Measures

By: Aaron Johnson
| Published 03/16/2020

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX - For the safety of our staff and the public, MCAS is advising our staff to take extra measures to mitigate the short and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include protecting themselves properly to reduce risk of spreading the virus, as well as working to manage and minimize the number of new animals entering our shelter. Furthermore, we must plan and prepare should any of our staff become impacted by COVID-19. We must decrease our number of animals in shelter without adding new animals! This will allow us to be sure we have the proper number of staff to care for our in shelter animals.

As members of the public safety community we have an obligation to perform our sworn duties during disasters both natural and man-made. However, we must also be reasonable as to what we can handle. Our animal control officers and shelter staff will be doing the following:

High priority/emergency calls: These will be responded to. These calls include calls such as law enforcement assistance, assisting fire/EMS, injured or sick stray animals only, cruelty and neglect complaints, bite complaints, as well as dangerous and aggressive dog complaints, etc.

Non-emergency calls and activities: These will be suspended or at least highly limited. This includes non-aggressive animal complaints, leash law complaints, nuisance complaints, trapping, and some conflict mitigation scenarios.

Shelter intake reduction: We will be taking active measures to reduce non-essential shelter intake. If you have a situation with a stray animal, please contact animal control 936-442-7738, option 2. Animal control can then assess the situation. Please do NOT pick up any stray animals unless you are willing to shelter in place (house, care for, feed, etc.) with the animal(s). You can also network these animals on social media such as on your neighborhood pages to find their owners. These measures also include suspending non-emergency owner surrender intake, and encouraging owners who are ill to keep their pets at home if at all possible.

Additionally, we WILL continue to allow animals to be adopted, fostered or rescued for the time being. As previously stated, we must work to reduce the shelter population in preparation for any staffing issues we could potentially face due to COVID-19. We want this reduction to be done in a positive manner and not a crisis that forces euthanasia. If you are working from home, come adopt or get some foster friends! It helps the animals in our care and keeps you company while being at home so much.

· If you would like to foster or if you are with a rescue organization and would like to pull animals you can reach out to us at mcassist@mctx.org.

· For other questions or concerns you can reach out to us at shelter.counter@mctx.org.

Please be patient with us during this difficult time of uncharted territory. We will continue to provide updates via our website ( www.mcaspets.org ) and social media. This is all subject to change at any time due to the fluid nature of this evolving pandemic.

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