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.

Photos: The Impact of Coronavirus Around the World


“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.

VIRUS TRACKER: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut coronavirus cases and deaths 
MORE: LIVE BLOG - Coronavirus updates from the tri-state area and beyond
MORE: New Jersey Coronavirus Dashboard 
Complete Coverage: Coronavirus Pandemic

"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.

More: Your Coronavirus Photos


"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.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."