Its a cool crisp Friday. There remain warm days ahead, yet it sure does feel like autumn as school re-opens, “bubbles’ have burst, and the Times of COVID continue to shape the new normal. The health and safety of Staff and volunteers at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA remain top of mind, every day.

Staff work in zones, and comply with wearing a mask, physical distancing and regular hand sanitising. Cleaning protocols are rigorous, and personal protective equipment is worn at all times in high animal care areas including the kennels and the Companion Animal Hospital.  The HBSPCA is open by appointment: adopters pick up their new family member and families bring their pet companions for scheduled spay neuter surgeries, health checks, nail trims and end of life support.  Four afternoons a week, people visit the shelter to purchase new and gently used pet merchandise; no more than 10 visiting public can be on site at any one time.

Yesterday, one of our Staff was mocked by a member of the public as a “puppet” because she was wearing a mask. She did not judge. She did not allow the person on site. She carried on diligently with her work that day – making appointments for surgery, taking donations on the phone, comforting families as they called to see how the HBSPCA could help their pet at the end of life, referring callers to other community services, planning a garage sale. She stayed beyond her shift to give dogs in care an extra outdoor run at the end of the day.

For six months our staff have kept their focus on service to community. Health and safety protocols keep them safe, keep their families safe, and keep all of us safe. Without healthy staff, there is no service to community. There is no refuge for homeless and abandoned animals. There is no safe place for animals at risk brought into care by Provincial Inspectors. No Spay neuter for street cats. No pet health support for families. No emergency support for pet companions.

I thank our Friends of the HBSPCA Members, our supporters and our donors for the notes of thanks you have sent to Staff, and your generous gifts that keep pets and people together, everyday.

We are wearing masks. I thank you too for wearing one.

Be safe. Be kind.