Coos County Animal Shelter Closure

Sheriff's Deputy Steve Church visits a pair of current residents Thursday during a brief visit to the Coos County Animal Shelter. Coos County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division began restricting public access to the facility due to concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic, but is still caring for animals and adopting them by appointment.

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COOS COUNTY — Despite announcing it was temporarily closing its doors to the general public, the Coos County Animal Shelter is reminding community members’ adoptions and other essential services are still available.

The shelter, which is run by the Coos County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Division, announced via Facebook Wednesday it was restricting public access to its facility due to concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus.

Coos County Sheriff’s Cpt. Gabe Fabrizio said while the shelter’s doors remain close until further notice, its day-to-day operations such as retrieving strays and temporarily housing unwanted, lost or abandoned animals will continue on.

The county shelter is also still providing adoption services to the community amid the coronavirus pandemic. While there is currently no evidence to suggest that animals can spread COVID-19, the CDC is still advising people to practice good pet hygiene and to wash your hands after handling animals, their food, waste or supplies.

Animal Control Officer Steve Church said people interested in adopting an animal can still do so by first reaching out to its shelter and scheduling an appointment. Visitors with flu-like symptoms will be denied entry to protect the officers on duty against potentially being infected.

In addition to restricting access, volunteers with the animal shelter, who help feed and walk the dogs as well as assists with kennel maintenance, have also been asked to stay home, said Church.

With only a small portion of its overall shelter capacity currently being used, Church said the shelter’s officers are at the moment able to maintain the shelter’s operations and care for the animals on site.

Sheriff's Deputy Steve Church talks on the phone during a brief visit Thursday to the Coos County Animal Shelter. Coos County Sheriff’s Office…

“As far as I understand we don’t have any intentions of trying to house animals outside of the shelter because we have the capability at this time to maintain the animals as needed here at shelter,” said Church.

Currently, the shelter has about eight dogs and 10 cats which is much lower than what it’s capable of handling, said Church. The shelter, which is located south of Coos Bay, is able to house about 25 dogs and 30 cats.

When asked what the shelter would do if it reaches its capacity, Church answered most likely its officers would initiate transfers to other county shelters and/or call on additional foster homes to temporarily house animals in need.

Unsure how long the coronavirus shutdown, it’s possible the shelter will readjust its operations if it becomes full. In the meantime, Church said the shelter will continue accepting surrenders and picking up strays as needed.

The Coos County Animal Shelter, which at the moment is offering services on appointment-only basis, can be reached at 541-751-2480.

The Reedsport K-9 Shelter, a no-kill animal shelter governed under the Reedsport Police Department, is also providing adoption services in Douglas County.

Sherry Watson, the shelter’s co-manager, said the shelter is still operating as normal as it will continue to see community members on an appointment-only basis.

With an all-volunteer staff, people interested in adopting a dog are first advised to visit its website to view the dogs online. Folks are also required to fill out an application before meeting the dogs in person.

Currently, the shelter, which has the capacity to house 12 dogs, has approximately five dogs available for adoption. As a number of businesses, municipalities and organizations around the state continue to implement safety precautions surrounding the coronavirus, Watson said people who visit the shelter will be screened for flu-like symptoms and denied access if they appear to be sick.

The Reedsport K-9 Shelter can be reached at 541-662-2062.

Reporter Amanda Linares can be reached at 541-266-6039 or by email at worldnews3@countrymedia.net.

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