As many things have changed during COVID-19, so have the protocols and procedures at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter including how patrons can surrender animals.
Adoptions via an online application and an appointment have helped reduce the number of people waiting in the lobby for better social distancing, according to Tessha Winsch, DVM and Shelter Medical Director. “We have found that this method also decreases the wait time for an adoption counselor and allows for more suitable pet matches and happier outcomes,” she added.
For some time now, the Shelter has utilized a more structured system known as “managed admissions,” modeled by organizations such as the ASPCA and Maddie’s Fund. While the Shelter is an open-intake facility, surrendering animals by appointment helps ensure there is space available and enough staff to care for them as well as enough volunteers to provide foster care — especially for kittens that often require bottle feeding.
“When we find a litter of kittens, our good-hearted instincts tell us to rush to the aid of these fragile felines,” Winsch said. “Thankfully though, human intervention is typically not required. The best thing to do is leave the kittens alone. Mom will likely return shortly, and it’s critical that the kittens remain in her care as she offers them the best chance for survival. More often than not, these moms are easily spooked by human intervention and will run off when approached. An excellent tip to remember is to watch from afar if the kittens are not in any immediate danger.”
However, Winsch added that when the mother has vanished for more than eight hours, the kittens are most likely orphaned. A person can then step in and help by caring for the kittens until they’re old enough to find homes.
“We’ve launched a new, care-in-place program designed to make it convenient for good Samaritans to act as foster homes and help care for these tiny creatures!” Winsch said. “The Cheyenne Animal Shelter will provide all the necessities for their care including regular checkups for vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries. Once they are eight weeks old and two pounds in weight, our in-house medical team will then find them forever homes by placing them up for adoption.”
Those who wish to surrender a pet or pets are asked to make an appointment by calling 632-6655. Donations toward the care of the pet are greatly appreciated.
Between the months of April-October, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter is overrun with hundreds of kittens. In the fiscal year 2020, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter cared for 5,581 animals including 934 owner surrenders.
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization that receives donations from our supporters and friends. As well, the Shelter contracts with the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County to provide animal control services.