Animal shelters remain open despite viral outbreak

Posted: Updated:

Some animal shelters in New Jersey have remained open through the coronavirus outbreak.

The staff at Voorhees Animal Orphanage in Camden County say that they have actually seen an uptick in animal adoptions since the crisis. The staff says that they are still practicing social distancing protocols to prevent the spread of the illness.

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“We’re keeping our distance from people. Even with the animals, we’re wiping [the cages] down with chlorhexidine because people…we asked them not to stick their fingers in the cages. But it’s animal nature, they can’t help it,” says kennel manager Laurie Ballard.

The orphanage says they have seen an increase in people just stopping by wanting to visit with the cats and dogs. But they say if you're not serious about adopting a pet, stay home.

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"Everybody's off work and school and they're getting a little stir-crazy this week and they want to come play with puppies or kittens,” Ballard says. “We're trying to not do it that way. We're trying to keep the staff and volunteers any animals safe."

Ballard says that if any of the staff was exposed to COVID-19, they have a plan in place to care for the animals.

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"We kind of have laid off a whole crew in order for the front-line crew to be here,” Ballard says. “If somebody were to get sick we would quarantine this crew and bring in the backup crew."

The staff says that they have credited the uptick of adoptions to people having more free time to train a new pet and to deal with the loneliness of self-isolation.

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