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Animal shelters, pet-welfare groups look to post-COVID life

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After halting in-person events because of COVID-19, the San Antonio Humane Society, among local animal shelters and rescues, is restarting community programs such as Camp Humane and other public-outreach activities. Courtesy photo/San Antonio Humane Society

As communities ease COVID-19 restrictions, animal shelters and rescues gradually are also resuming public activities and pet adoptions.

The pandemic shut down municipal, county and nonprofit animal shelters, halting normal programming and limiting residents’ access to give strays a forever home.

Smaller animal rescues also weren’t immune.

But with more businesses and public facilities reopening, animal shelters and other organizations are getting get back to pre-pandemic functions.

Today, some shelters admit visitors only by appointment, but others permit a limited number of walk-ins.

Stephanie Kinney, Live Oak’s animal control supervisor, said Live Oak Animal Control is nearly fully operational.

“We have invited our volunteers back a few months ago to walk dogs and help socialize our animals,” Kinney said.

The facility is looking for helpers to take shelter dogs on afternoon strolls. Applications can be found on Live Oak’s website, https://tinyurl.com/5wmwyj8y.

“Our doors are open to the public. However, we are still not taking customers to the back to view dogs,” Kinney said. “We do, however, bring the dogs up to the lobby for meet-and-greets.”

Converse Animal Shelter Inc., as of press time, was still accepting prospective adopters through appointments only, but the shelter hosted a rummage sale fundraiser on April 24 to give community members a chance to show their support.

In addition, adoption events are slowly returning.

Schertz-based Homes for Pets has opportunities noon to 4 p.m. every first and third Saturday at Petco, 13909 Nacogdoches Road in San Antonio.

Other shelters and welfare groups are again teaching animal-socialization and nature-education classes to children.

Cibolo Animal Services in March allowed youths from Little Cowboys & Tiaras Daycare/Learning Center to tour the facility and get a lesson on animal safety.

“Our kiddos asked so many questions and had a blast,” the Cibolo daycare center posted on its Facebook page.

Elsewhere, the San Antonio Humane Society has resumed offering Camp Humane, where first through 12th graders go behind the scenes at the campus, 4804 Fredericksburg Road in San Antonio, and learn more about the nonprofit’s community work.

Camp Humane activities range from animal interactions to arts and crafts. Parents may choose from several sessions available for all age groups from June 7 to Aug. 13.

Camper spots are reduced to 10 per session to accommodate physical distancing.

All staffers and campers must follow COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols. Visit SAhumane.org/summercamp for details.

eortiz@localcommunitynews.com

WHERE TO HELP

For pet adoption, to foster and for volunteer and/or educational opportunities, these are many of the animal shelters and rescue groups based around San Antonio and the Randolph Metrocom:

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