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Shelter-in-place leads to big changes at North Bay Animal Services

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PETALUMA, Calif. (KRON) – The shelter in place is affecting all of us in one way or another and that includes our pets.

Anyone with a pet knows animals can sense change and this shelter in place is creating big change in their world too.

“Right now you can tell the level of stress is much higher, you can hear them in the shelter. They’re a lot more agitated than they normally would be,” Mark Scott said. 

Mark Scott is the director of North Bay Animal Services, right now home to about 75 dogs and 30 cats.

Fewer animals are being picked up or dropped off mainly because so many people are staying home with their pets.

But the shelter in place means the volunteers have to stay home too and that means fewer walks for the dogs and less lap time for the cats.

The volunteers also supplement the shelter’s food supply.

“They’re amazing, they bring us food or they bring us donations, monetary donations which are super helpful,” Scott said. 

The shelter typically gets eight to ten thousand dollars a month in food donations but recently Scott had to go to buy canned food for the dog because they were running out.

“I think with all the things that are going on people are trying to look within and find out what they need to take care of themselves and their family. It’s totally understandable and they should,” Scott said. “But at the same time we still have a job to do. We’re still trying to take care of the animals as best we can and we wish we had more to do it with but we’re doing the best we can.”

Other services have come to a stop. There will be no more spays and neuters for the foreseeable future.

“They’re going to have implications down the road when we start having kitten season coming along you’ll notice the difference cause we normally spay anywhere from 20 cats a week to now, zero,” Scott said. 

With some folks out of work taking care of their pets has been a challenge.

The shelter teamed up with Pet Food Express to provide go bags for people who need a little help.

“That’s something new, we don’t normally do that. It’s something we realized people have called us and said, hey I’m getting low what are my options I can’t leave my house,” Scott said. 

“They put some food and they have a couple toys and little pooper scooper. We have bones for the dogs and they also put a little VIP leash to go in there,” Addie Schroth said. 

But there’s a silver lining for the pets and people.

If you’re not ready to commit full time to having a pet, you can do it part time to help you and these little ones get through some stressful days.

“We have the foster program for all of our animals. For dogs that need a break from the shelter. Same thing for cats,” Kathy Sousa said. 

Also, a reminder particularly if you’re vulnerable to sickness, leave information about your pets with neighbors and loved ones so they’ll be taken care of if you have to go to the hospital, including information on the pet’s medications and updating their microchip information.

At least you have some peace of mind your pets are cared for.

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