HSSC COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 & Your Pets: Guidance & Information
March 19, 2020
Humans may be social distancing…
April 20, 2020

We love our HSSC family

First and foremost, we want you all to stay safe and healthy. Please follow all guidelines issued by local, state and federal government authorities to protect your health, the well-being of your loved ones and the strength and safety of our community.

We are here for the animals

They are safe and receiving ongoing loving care from a select group of highly skilled staff who are taking precautions to maintain a healthy shelter environment for all.

How You Can Help

The animals need our help now more than ever and you have reached out to ask what you can do – thank you. Here are the things we need most right now – we’ll continue to update this list.

  • Funding – HSSC is a donor-supported organization. The few small revenue sources we have, from adoptions, classes and public medical services, have been suspended in support of public health protections, leaving us with a significant funding gap. Any gift you can spare right now will do a world of good for our shelter animals and allow our medical and animal care teams to continue saving these precious lives. You can donate right now here.
  • Pet Food Pantry – our Pantry supplies are low and we expect demand to be especially high at this challenging time. We welcome your donations of dry adult dog and cat food, canned adult dog and cat food, puppy and kitten food, and cat litter. There will be collection bins in front of both shelter entrances or you can have them shipped directly to HSSC at 5345 Highway 12 West, Santa Rosa CA 95407. Items may be dropped off between 12 – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday. Please do not drop off donations outside those hours due to limited staffing. Please do not drop off any other type of physical donation.

Service & Program Updates

We’ll continue to update this information as COVID-19 mitigation and protection efforts in our community evolve.

  • Shelter Hours: Both Santa Rosa and Healdsburg Shelters are closed until after the Shelter in Place order is rescinded. If you have questions surrounding our programs or services please call 542-0882 Tuesday-Sat from 12-5pm.
  • Adoptions: Both Santa Rosa and Healdsburg Shelters are closed to public walk-ins until the Shelter in Place order has been lifted. Beginning June 7, 2020, we will be scheduling adoptions by appointment during the following hours:
    • Sunday: 11am-5pm
    • Monday: closed
    • Tuesday – Saturday: 11am-6pm
    • We are coordinating adoptions online and by appointment only: Here’s How
  • If you find a stray animal: Within the City of Sebastopol, contact Sebastopol Police Department at 707-829-4400 or call HSSC at 707-542-0882. Within the City of Healdsburg, call North Bay Animal Services at 707-364-4423. In any other part of Sonoma County, call Sonoma County Animal Services at 707-565-7100.
  • Training Classes: All training classes are postponed until further notice. Current enrollees will be contacted by our Training Program manager.
  • Free Pet Food Pantry: Food and supplies will be available for pickup for those in need on a limited basis outside each shelter entrance.
  • Volunteering & Fostering: At this time, we do not have a need for additional volunteer or foster support and have suspended on-site volunteer activity to protect their health and adhere to County directives. We welcome new volunteer and foster applications on line and look forward to resuming orientation and training when restrictions are lifted.

HSSC’s public spay neuter clinic will reopen for surgery on Wednesday, May 27. If you had an appointment scheduled previously that was cancelled due to COVID-19, or if you are on our waiting list, you will be contacted to reschedule soon.

If you are concerned that your pet may be pregnant or is at risk of becoming pregnant, please call us. If you have an intact animal causing behavior/housing issues (in heat or urine marking), please call us. Otherwise, please be patient; there is quite a backlog of animals waiting for surgery and it may take us some time to get everyone scheduled.

Please note: we are unable to schedule dogs that weigh more than 40 lbs for surgery at this time, because it takes two people to carry them and this cannot be achieved with safe distancing. We are also unable to take in dogs that are unsocialized, fearful, or aggressive, as these also require additional handling.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new safety precautions have been put in place to minimize staff contact with the public and reduce risk of potential exposure.

Please note the following:

  • Pet owners will not be permitted to enter the building
  • Intake of animals will be done from your vehicle at curbside
  • All paperwork must be filled out in advance and emailed back to us prior to the day of surgery
  • Payment via credit card is preferred and the use of cash is strongly discouraged
  • Discharge instructions will be sent to you in advance; please review these before the day of your pet’s surgery so we can answer any questions you have over the phone to minimize contact

Check-in times will be staggered, and you will be assigned a check-in time when your appointment is made. PLEASE ARRIVE ON TIME. If you arrive early, please park in one of the parking spaces in front the clinic and WAIT IN YOUR CAR. Please do not get out of your car or approach the building. One of our intake staff will greet you and assign you a number. If you arrive late, you may have to wait until all other check-ins are completed.

Additional instructions:

  • Please make sure cats are in carriers and dogs are on leash
  • You must be wearing a mask for check-in, or the intake staff will not approach your vehicle
  • Some dogs may be fearful of being approached by an unknown person wearing a mask and gown; we will work with you to safely get your dog out of the car and into the clinic

We look forward to seeing you and your pets for surgery soon. Thank you for your patience during this unusual time, and please do not hesitate to give us a call at (707) 284-3499 if you have any questions.

Our clinic is currently altering its patient receiving schedule.

The CVC will operate on a limited patient receiving basis, concentrating on urgent or critical appointments. Please call 707-284-1198 if you need help assessing the urgency of your pet’s condition.

Most appointments and procedures scheduled for the weeks of March 16 through April 13 will be rescheduled. Clients are currently being contacted regarding cancellations.

In an effort to adhere to social distancing guidelines, after patient check-in, we will ask clients to exit the hospital. Clinicians and staff will communicate with clients regarding the status of the patient via telephone on an ongoing basis. This way, we can avoid congregating in our waiting rooms.

For established patients, our veterinarians will be available for “telemedicine” (texting and email consults) during regular business hours as much as possible.

For established patients that need prescription refills, we are encouraging mail options rather than coming to the hospital. Please call 707-284-1198 for prescription refill requests.

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time.

Low cost veterinary services are offered to pet owners who meet the following income qualifications. Qualification prior to appointment is preferred, however at time of service will be accepted.

There are two ways to qualify:

  1. You or another person in your household is participating in one of these assistance programs: CalFresh/Food Stamps, SonomaWorks/CalWorks/TANF, WIC, Free or Reduced Lunch, Medi-Cal, AT&T Lifeline. Proof of participation will be requested with your application.
  2. The combined income of all household members does not exceed the “very low income” limitations by household size below. Proof of income will be requested with your application.

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