Helping the felines and humans in our community stay safe and healthy is always top priority here at SAFe Rescue. As a facility which provides housing and medical care for animals, we follow strict sanitation protocols. In light of the COVID-19 situation in our region, we wanted to let you know more about our regular protocols, as well as additional preventative measures we’re taking:
Each day, SAFe Rescue is adapting to emerging guidelines during the COVID-19 crisis: new recommendations from experts in the field include limitations on spay and neuter, intake, and transport. Our staff is working hard to find innovative ways to follow these recommendations, keep our community safe, and help as many felines and humans as we can, both in the short term and long into the future. Read more about Animal Welfare During COVID-19.
SAFe Rescue is now undergoing its temporary two-week closure. Closing is not something we take lightly, but in this COVID-19 public health emergency, it is the right action to protect the health and safety of our community, to maintain our ability to respond when kitten season arrives, and to adapt to closures of partner organizations. We already can’t wait to open for adoptions again on April 9th!
Cats and kittens who are still in care but not yet ready for adoption are going into foster homes to continue getting the TLC they need. We’ll also be spending the coming days getting ready for kitten season, which is fast approaching and will soon bring overwhelming need.
3/19/2020 Update: After the majority of the cats currently available for adoption have found homes, this weekend we will be temporarily closing SAFe Rescue for 2 weeks. Closing is not something we take lightly, but in this COVID-19 public health emergency, it is the right action to protect the health and safety of our community, to maintain our ability to respond when kitten season arrives, and to adapt to closures of partner organizations.
All cats who are still in the rescue at the end of this weekend will be heading to foster care during the closure to continue getting the care and love they need. The pandemic is a challenging and unprecedented situation, but we will get through it and keep helping kitties together! Even though the closure has not even begun yet, we are already looking forward to re-opening for adoptions on April 9. Thank you for your support and for your compassion for homeless cats.
3/17/2020 Update: SAFe Rescue remains open for adoptions, but will close two hours early at 5:00PM on adoption days. Rescue may also remain closed on slow days: check website for updates. Volunteer shifts are reduced to minimize the number of volunteers and staff in the building and all employees who are able to work from home are doing so as much as possible.
3/13/2020 Update: SAFe Rescue remains open for adoptions and we have implemented a new wait list service that makes it possible to limit the number of people in the Adoption Center at one time. We are also limiting the number of onsite staff and volunteers and following King County’s social distancing guidelines carefully.
Hand washing: Clean hands have always been a key aspect of our regimen here at the Adoption Center! Staff and volunteers wash hands frequently throughout the day, and we wash our hands in warm water for 20 seconds after touching anything dirty and before touching anything clean. Everyone is also required to wash or sanitize hands before and after handling cats. We have a sufficient supply of soap and cleaning products to maintain these protocols even if/when there are shortages.
Sanitation: Surfaces at the rescue are cleaned and sanitized multiple times per day and enclosures are sanitized in between each cat. Detailed health and safety protocols guide every aspect of our daily routine, from doing laundry, to sanitizing dishes, to cleaning enclosures. The primary disinfectant we use onsite is “Rescue,” which is formulated with Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP). We have confirmed with a veterinary expert on infectious diseases that our shelter cleaning products are effective against coronavirus. Additionally, we are sanitizing shared computers, phones, tablets and surfaces touched by visitors after each use.
Meetings: While SAFe Rescue remains open for adoptions, out of an abundance of caution, we are currently conducting group meetings and information sessions virtually. Our weekly “Crafting for Kitties” group is postponed until Wednesday, April 1.
(Note: according to the CDC there is no evidence that cats, dogs, or other companion animals can spread COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html#animals.)
Now, like every day of the year, we are committed to providing the highest level of love and care for rescue kitties and the highest level of respect and service to humans!
As this is a rapidly-evolving situation, we are making sure we do our part to keep our community safe; we are evaluating our protocols daily to make sure that our plans and procedures are evidence-based and follow recommendations from the CDC and the King County Department of Public Health.