Category

Coronavirus Update

We have several important updates to share regarding COVID-19. As we remain open for adoptions and intake, our continued focus is to protect the wellbeing of our animals, staff, volunteers, and visitors. In light of the continued spread of the Coronavirus in Chicago, and beyond, we are now taking the following measures:

  1. Disinfection and cleaning protocols: The maintenance team has increased the rate and intensity of disinfection. Disinfection stations, which include wipes and hand sanitizer, have also been placed throughout the building. We are urging staff to assist maintenance in disinfecting frequently touched surfaces throughout the day. This includes, but is not limited to, door knobs, handles, elevator buttons, and tables.
  2. Building signage: Signs have been placed throughout the building to encourage people to wash their hands, limit interpersonal contact, and stay home when sick.
  3. New Emergency Relief Foster Program: Another way we are responding to the spread of the virus is through the expansion of our foster program. The Emergency Relief Foster Program is a new effort that will train on-call fosters to house animals in times of crisis. Work is already underway to recruit caretakers to foster cats, dogs, and rabbits who are currently available for adoption, and by doing so, clear out shelter space for pets who may need emergency boarding due to owner hospitalization.
  4. Companion Animals. For now, there is no evidence that companion animals can transmit or become sick due to this Coronavirus. Still, it is a good idea to wash your hands after contact with pets.

We will continue to evaluate the spread of the virus and its impact on the work of the Society so that we can take proactive measures to help us keep our staff, volunteers, visitors, and animals healthy.  

IMPACT ON THE ANTI-CRUELTY SOCIETY

Q:           HOW WILL THE SOCIETY MANAGE THIS SITUATION?

A:          The Anti-Cruelty Society is focused on how to best decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of the Coronavirus in the workplace in the event of an outbreak in the U.S. The Society will evaluate the situation and develop policies and procedures ensure communications regarding the following:

The Society will monitor absenteeism so that we are able to implement plans to continue our essential business functions

We will cross-train personnel to perform essential functions so that we are able to care for the animals in the shelter, even if key staff are absent.

We will assess our essential functions and the reliance that others and the community have on our services

We will change how we perform our work, if needed, to maintain critical operations

We have stepped up our proactive efforts to include the following:

daily disinfection and cleaning of public services such as elevator buttons, door handles, rest rooms, workstations, and countertops. Additional hand sanitizer stations have been set up and employee policies have been established to determine how to best manage care for the animals, as well as needs of our employees and volunteers. Disposable wipes are recommended to disinfect commonly used surfaces before each use. We reserve the right to request people to get their temperature taken if they present with flu-like symptoms. If the virus becomes a more widespread issue, we will ask any staff or volunteer entering the building will be required to have their temperature taken. Any person with a temperature over 100 degrees will be asked to return home for their own safety and the safety of the community. People will be required to be fever free for 24 hours prior to returning to work.

Q:         WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON THE WORK AT THE SOCIETY?

A:          Our immediate concern is the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and animals. Depending on the severity of the virus in Chicago, we will repurpose and crosstrain staff to support animal care. We are working on procedures to provide those who are not currently working in animal care but may need to help care for animals until the situation is resolved. We are also focusing on employee expectations with regards to work attendance or possible work from home.

In the event that there is a recommendation for social distancing during this crisis, we will implement the following:

Suspend all community outreach programs and external events

Limit onsite meetings to essential meetings only

Suspend transports from other areas

Suspend adoptions at the River North and PetSmart Adoption Centers

Suspend community spay/neuter and clinic services

Suspend owner surrenders although we will provide emergency rescue if we are able.

We will not suspend emergency end of life services.

Coronavirus General Information

Coronaviruses are spread mainly through close contact (within about six feet, according to the CDC, for a prolonged period), when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and another person comes into contact with the infectious droplets — which is how the flu and many other pathogens spread. Some evidence suggests that the new coronavirus may spread via fecal matter, so wash your hands after using the restroom. In some environments, coronaviruses can survive on surfaces, so regular sanitation of shared surfaces is important.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus, because there is currently no vaccine. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of all respiratory viruses.

Preventive actions that you can take include:

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially unwashed hands.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces; disinfectants with 0.1% sodium hypochlorite or 62-71% ethanol significantly reduce coronavirus infectivity.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Stay home when you are sick.    

Our continued focus is to protect the wellbeing of our animals, staff, volunteers, and visitors. In light of continued spread of the virus in Chicago, and beyond, we are now taking the following measures:

Disinfection and cleaning protocols: The maintenance team has increased the rate and intensity of disinfection. Disinfection stations, which include wipes and hand sanitizer, have also been placed throughout the building. We are urging staff to assist maintenance in disinfecting frequently touched surfaces throughout the day. This includes, but is not limited to, door knobs, handles, elevator buttons, and tables.

Building signage: Laminated signs have been placed throughout the building to encourage people to wash their hands, limit interpersonal contact, and stay home when sick.

New Emergency Relief Foster Program: Another way we are responding to the spread of the virus is through the expansion of our foster program. The Emergency Relief Foster Program is a new effort that will train up on-call fosters to house animals in times of crisis. Work is already underway to recruit caretakers to foster cats, dogs, and rabbits who are currently available for adoption, and by doing so, clear out shelter space for pets who may need emergency boarding due to owner hospitalization.

Companion Animals. For now, there is no evidence that companion animals can transmit or become sick due to this Coronavirus. Still, it is a good idea to wash your hands after contact with pets.

We will continue to evaluate the spread of the virus and its impact on the work of the Society. We will continue developing procedures so that we can take proactive measures to help us keep our staff, volunteers, visitors, and animals healthy.