TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Animal Welfare is one of the public entities still open during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
"The animals will be here. So, we will be here taking care of the animals and making sure they have everything that they need,” said Marshelle Freeman, the interim manager of TAW.
The shelter is currently open regular hours, but staff are changing their daily operations to prevent the spread any illnesses.
“We’re working through the process of identifying any logistical that we have," Freeman said. "We are making a lot of changes because it keeps our employees safe as well as the animals."
TAW now has far more hand sanitizing stations through out their facility for staff, volunteers, and guests. Employees and volunteers also clean more often.
"During or regular operating hours from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., they are doing it every hour," Freeman said. “We have a very dedicated group of volunteers and they have been here."
While TAW says they love when the public chooses to volunteer at their facility, but due to health concerns over the coronavirus, they are currently not accepting new volunteers during this time.
"That training is usually done in a smaller room," Freeman said. "So, to avoid people being to close, we just can't have training right now."
Also, the area where people fill out paperwork to adopt has been moved to the exterior lobby.
"We’ve done that to keep that main area more open for people and pets passing though, so there arent just people sitting closely in that space," Freeman said.
Despite all of their precautions, staff at TAW are still worried about how the current pandemic is affecting adoptions and in turn, how many animals they are forced euthanize due to health and space constraints.
“People haven’t been coming in to adopt as much because of the COVID-19," Freeman said.
Which is why they are encouraging the community to hold on to pets.
"We really want you to consider before you bring an animal in that there may not be enough space or to wait until this epidemic has died down," Freeman said. "Because that can help us keep the number of animals euthanize down."
If you find a stray or can no longer take care of a pet at this time, instead of dropping it off at TAW, staff are asking you to call their pet diversion specialist at 918-596-7387.
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