First an apology, this message is long overdue. The challenges of business together with health issues have caused me to delay some very important matters. How joyful it would have been to write this letter two months ago. The COVID-19 has changed our lives in so many ways. Thousands of individuals and businesses are coming to grips with very difficult decisions.
In regards to the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter I have carefully considered the choices in connection with continuing our work. In broad terms these are the options:
- OPTION A: Close the Shelter The heart of our mission is the Shelter’s NO-KILL policy. The Shelter’s motto is REVERENCE FOR LIFE. If ever there were a time when these deep beliefs are put to the challenge it is now. We will never ever subscribe to euthanization as a means of population control or instigate intentionally shortening the lives of the pets in our care. Nor will we ever abandon these beautiful animals. Furthermore it would be necessary to lay off my staff who are so dedicated to their jobs and so dependant on their wages. OPTION A IS REJECTED
- OPTION B: Partially close the Shelter, and limit activity to cleaning and feeding the pets. This would mean keeping a Shelter staff to enter the premises for cleaning, feeding and medical purposes. Unfortunately this approach would mean that the pets would be restricted to cages for weeks or even months. OPTION B IS REJECTED
- OPTION C: Keep the Shelter Open. Many of the animals under our protection have suffered greatly through neglect and cruelty. Over the past 20+ years we have seen that their best chance for new and decent lives is to be adopted to a loving home. Interestingly we have been receiving numerous enquiries from people who are isolated and lonely. They seek companionship with another being in their homes and would like to adopt a pet. OPTION C IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, THE WINNIPEG PET RESCUE SHELTER WILL REMAIN OPEN!
Having decided to remain open it is essential that we adhere to Government guidelines as they apply to confining the spread of the virus. Although the Shelter has always maintained the the cleanest and most disinfected environment for the animals, staff and customers we have made some extra guidelines to be followed:
- The door will remain locked. However staff members will welcome customers into the Shelter limiting to the capacity to 8 persons at one time. Customers will be allowed entrance as others leave.
- Hand Sanitizer will be given to customers at the entrance. The entrance door will be cleaned with Lysol wipes after each person enters or leaves.
- Customers will be asked to maintain social distancing of 2 meters or 6 feet.
- Hand Sanitizer will be given to each person between interaction with animals or other people.
- The POS machine and Front Counter area are disinfected with Lysol wipes after each customer.
- Should you be experiencing any sickness, We Love You but please come back another time.
- We have limited the amount of volunteers to only 2 per day
- We have cancelled all group tours.
- Staff and Volunteers have been provided with rubber gloves and they are changed between interaction with animals or other persons
- Furnace Filters are being changed every two weeks.
These are just some of the implementations that have taken place. Workplace Safety and Health guidelines for employers have been thoroughly reviewed and implemented.
The Shelter continues to received injured and starving animals, many of whom require immediate veterinary care. Dr. Peter Schwartz, Assiniboine Animal Hospital continues to help the Shelter and for that I am truly grateful. Notwithstanding what is going on in the World today, animals only understand their pain and suffering. Their need for our help is imperative and ongoing. Unfortunately we have to suspend all Fundraising Events until further notice. I realize that many of you are probably struggling with job layoffs and/or finances, however to those who can manage I ask for your help through either a one time donation (click here) or participation in our Helping Hero Monthly Donor program (clicking here.) For as little as $3.00 or more per month you can truly make a difference to the lives of the innocent animals in our care. Every dollar makes a difference at the Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter. Charitable tax receipts will be issued for every donation.
On a personal note many of you know that during January, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I received surgery on the 18th Feb and again on the 17 March. I have been medically advised not to work for a period of time pending the results of chemo/radiation and further testing. I would like to thank you for your prayers and well wishes. In the meantime Michelle Caughy is doing a very good job as Acting Director and the staff members are showing loyalty and dedication. I am maintaining good communication with the Shelter.
Throughout 30 years of experience in animal welfare I have found that animal lovers are very special people. They seem to exude extra kindness and bond ship while appreciating God’s wonderful gift of nature and the living beings on this earth.
With love and respect,