FEATURE - "Helping our furry friends during COVID-19"

By Marcia Wendorf – June 6, 2020

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) is having a serious effect on people throughout the world but it is also having a serious effect on furry friends.

Animal control personnel have stopped working and animal shelters within the Navajo Reservation in southeastern Utah have been forced to close due to the virus. That has left a lot of homeless and hungry animals.

A Park City rescue organization, Nuzzles & Co., along with the Cache Humane Society (CHS) located in Logan have stepped up to help.

Nuzzles and Co. have been making the 14-hour round trip to the reservation about once a month, and in late May, they transported 72 animals including dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, from the Navajo Reservation to the Wasatch Front. The animals were then distributed among several no-kill shelters. Two adult dogs and five puppies were picked up by CHS and brought to Logan.

The most appreciative

According to Darrell McCurtain, Director of Intake and Community Outreach for Nuzzles & Co., some of the animals they rescue from the reservation are completely healthy, while others are suffering from parvo, distemper and various injuries.

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Photo courtesy of Cache Humane Society

Some of the animals are very skinny and some have mange. Ticks are a constant problem. Prior to transport back to the Wasatch Front, Nuzzles & Co. vaccinate and microchip every animal.

Once at their rescue ranch, the animals are given baths and veterinary care.

“The ones who are injured are the most appreciative of being rescued. They wag their entire bodies,” McCurtain said.

One of Nuzzles and Co.'s most memorable rescues was that of Ezra, a German Shepherd puppy. He was found when he was only four weeks old literally frozen to the ground. Today, he is the pampered pet of two professional photographers who post pictures of the rapidly growing puppy on their Instagram page Harlow and Sage. (https://www.instagram.com/harlowandsage/?hl=en)

According to Caesarea Kritz, Foster Coordinator at CHS, the dogs rescued from the Navajo Reservation aren't available for adoption just yet. They are currently living in foster homes, and some still need to be spayed or neutered and complete their vaccinations.

There are currently only 10 animals available for adoption at CHS because most are in foster care. This is because CHS was forced to furlough their staff due to COVID-19. The virus has also forced them to move their adoption process online.

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Photo courtesy of Cache Humane Society

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If you want to adopt a pet from CHS, you can find their dog adoption questionnaire at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc25vTCkrBI7AV4K79HUpMkESAHq4ONYQ0hSHwHmvyUNYf5ew/viewform

The cat adoption questionnaire can be found here at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe_YuGGl8AMPQ1EdO7Sp1IWqB5Z19mBstuQYUyR0IQcT0BABw/viewform.

Kritz said that even during the pandemic, adoptions are proceeding at a pretty good clip, with “on average, two to three animals are adopted every week.”

Asked whether CHS is seeing a spike in surrendered animals due to the virus, Kritz responded, “While other shelters across the country are seeing an influx of people surrendering their animals, we haven't seen a spike in surrenders. They've been the same as they've always been.”

Kritz cited the main reasons for people giving up their animals as having to move or allergies in family members. Cache Humane Society serves as the impound facility for the communities of Hyde Park, North Logan and Providence, while Logan City has its own impound facility.

During the height of the pandemic, CHS was forced to close its community spay/neuter and vaccination clinic, but it is now open again every Thursday. The clinic provides affordable vaccinations on a walk-in basis, and affordable spay and neuters by appointment.

You can fill out a spay and neuter clinic appointment request form at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdbnhET0REf_RXXoKDffueQzdkYz0tPGYpB4l2LF4TjffFBhg/viewform

Helping CHS and Nuzzles and Co.

Nuzzles and Co. needs foster homes for both dogs and cats, and they would love to have volunteers to walk dogs and play with cats. They can always use cash donations.

Currently, CHS is facing a large challenge - their community pet pantry is completely empty. The pantry provides free pet food to those who can't afford to buy it. Right by CHS's front door are two large gray bins where you can drop off any brand and size of wet or dry pet food, so long as they haven't been opened.

At the moment, CHS doesn't need new volunteers but they are in need of additional foster families and they too could use cash donations.

If you would like to become a foster family or make a donation, you can email CHS at caesarea@cachehumane.org.

“Navigating this new world under COVID-19, we just want to make sure that all animals receive the care they deserve,” Kritz said.

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/cachehumanesociety

Photo courtesy of Cache Humane Society
Photo courtesy of Cache Humane Society