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COVID-19 Is Redefining Animal Sheltering

Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, writes about changes at Harlingen Humane Society in response to COVID-19. From the article:

Today, with many animal shelters closed to the public because of stay-at-home orders, an organic, community-based solution has presented itself — one that could turn the shelter system of today upside down and inside out. It’s a long overdue makeover for a system that has changed little in concept since it was created in the late 1800s. So, let’s explore the possibilities. With many animal shelters closed to the public and with looming fears of a flood of new dogs and cats coming in because of the economic and social impact of COVID-19, only one door was open to shelters to maintain their lifesaving capacity — their local community of animal lovers.

Shelters large and small have tapped into the kindness of their communities to push the boundaries of their shelter system to include the community. And innovation is the order of the day. In Harlingen, Texas, the team at Humane Society of Harlingen (led by Luis Quintanilla, a graduate of the Best Friends Executive Leadership Certification Program) mobilized Harlingen and Cameron counties to empty their shelter between last Thursday and this Monday.

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