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Animal shelters adjust to COVID19: Can you still adopt?

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Some parts of life continue on despite the pandemic, and for shelter and humane society workers this includes taking care of rescued animals.

These are small operations that rely on volunteers, and many of those volunteers are required to stay home.

"We've decreased our staffing here as far as volunteers. They do not report in anymore until further notice. So we're just working with our six staff that we have on here," says Broome County Dog Shelter Manager Kelly Conlon.

Along with less staff, the general public isn't allowed to come view animals without some notice.

"We have changed our processes here. We are not allowing people just in to visit," says Broome County Humane Society Executive Director Karen Matson.

"No longer can you come in and just peruse the animals. You have to first have an approved adoption application and then you have to set up an appointment. We are keeping track of who's coming in, their contact information." she says.

Despite the changes, adoptions are continuing.

"We've got a ton of appointments set up throughout the week now. I'm pretty sure our numbers are going to go up as far as adoptions for this month," says Conlon.

Keeping adoptions going not only helps the animals, but it keeps shelters and humane societies ready to take animals in and care for them if their owner falls ill.

"The least we can do is be prepared to provide an emergency boarding situation. Of course it's temporary, it's not that you're giving up your pet to us. You're allowing us the opportunity to provide the care your pet needs while you get the care you need to become healthy," says Matson.

We all have some part to play during this stressful time, and these animal caretakers are focusing on what they can do.

"My mission right now is to make sure these animals are taken care of and we can help the community the best we can," Matson says.

For more coronavirus coverage, click here.

Damon Matson

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