PITTSFORD – Working in an animal shelter can make people forget how much they love people, said Sandy Creed.
Creed is usually the first staff member to arrive at the Rutland County Humane Society on a daily basis. The shelter closed its adoption center to walk-in visitors when the coronavirus pandemic began in late March 2020. Tuesday was its first day back to normal, but normal no longer looks normal.
“It was fantastic,” said Creed, who does a bit of all around the shelter, as do many other staff. “It’s kind of a shock to all of us here because it was just us, and now we opened the door and it was very busy. This is a good thing.”
Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, the shelter had adopted three kittens, a cat, a dog and two guinea pigs.
“We never enjoyed what we had until we didn’t have it anymore, it was everyday life in a shelter, and it’s getting tough,” she said. “And then we lost the interaction with people… and I never want to go through that again.” I like people.”
Rune Speyers, of Leicester, and Lexi Peake, of Florence, met some of the dogs at the shelter on Tuesday.
Speyers said he’s been to RCHS for Animals since he was a kid. He adopted two cats years ago, a brother and a sister whom he was encouraged to take together. He still has one, he said. He and Peake had wanted to come to the shelter a few days before and decided to do so on Tuesday.
“When COVID hit we, like any other organization, closed the adoption center, we placed a lot of animals in foster care,” said Beth Saradarian, executive director of RCHS. “After about two months, when things started to open up again, we decided to do adoptions by appointment only. “
This slowed down the adoption process, but people were still eager to donate, adopt, and foster. She said it seemed like a national phenomenon.
“Now that things have drastically changed, we are back to what we had before COVID, which is that the adoption center is open at specific times so people can come in and visit the animals, drop off donations, say hello and do those things that we haven’t done for so long.
The opening hours of the adoption center are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are no longer scheduled, but people are encouraged to complete paperwork in advance. The number of people in the adoption zone will be limited in the future, however, Saradarian said.
“We learned during COVID that the animals seemed less stressed when there were fewer visitors,” she said.
According to Saradarian, the shelter has not suffered as much as it could have from the pandemic. The community has stepped up its efforts in several ways, adopting, adopting animals and donating what they can. She suspects that several stimulus checks have been sent to RCHS, and the group is grateful.
She said the Duck Derby, Garage Sale and Trails for Tails events are continuing this year, after being canceled during the pandemic, but during 2020 the shelter became familiar with online fundraising methods. , which he plans to continue given their cost-effectiveness.
The shelter currently has around 25 dogs, 75 cats and 100 foster animals.