Keeping Animals & Communities Safe in a Pandemic
* Due to COVID-19 complications, and not wanting to get in the way of our Partners work during this tough time, the photos you see in this story were taken pre-COVID. We hope to resume in-person visits with our Partners in the near future to obtain new photos.
The pandemic made 2020 a tough year on people and their furry friends.
With 2020 in the books, Program Partners from Partnership With Native American's Reservation Animal Rescue Animal Welfare service worked hard on the ground throughout the pandemic to ensure reservation animals received love, medical attention, and forever homes. Their goals to promote the health and safety of animals and community members was paramount this year. RAR Grants service was even more important because of the economic consequences impacting all of us, particularly rural and tribal communities where resources are already limited.
RAR grants were used to upgrade Partners' software and technical abilities to communicate more efficiently with vendors, vets, foster homes, and adopters. Grants were used to address the increase in neglect issues animals face with finances are tight in households. Grants were used in preventative vaccines to ensure our four-legged community could fight off diseases that peaked during the pandemic. Even though the efforts to place animals looked different, our program partners rose to the occasion. They ensured their stringent practices and protocols would not compromise animals being rehabbed and rehomed.
Even though efforts to place animals looked different, our Program Partners, like the MCHS, rose to the occasion.
A long-standing RAR Partner McKinley County Humane Society sent an acknowledgment in their end of year grant report:
"The RAR funding has been transformative for hundreds of animals in reducing their suffering and providing a greater quality of life. The pet owners are so appreciative of these services."
The McKinley County Humane Society is located in Gallup, NM, on the Navajo Nation's border. They reflected on the challenges of being a critical service provider in a border town.
Our Partners have learned many lessons this past year on how to keep helping animals while keeping everyone safe.
"Even as we end this 2020 year, the Covid-19 virus pandemic has made it a tough year for the people and pets. Spikes have continued in Gallup, McKinley County, and on the nearby Navajo Nation, and lockdowns have been in effect most of the year since March. At one point in the spring, concrete barriers were installed on I-40 interstate exits into and out of Gallup to limit the number of people coming into and leaving the city/county, which was drastic, but we survived all of the various law enforcement guidelines, providing our shelter workers with essential worker letters, providing extra PPE, and limiting people in the building."
Were there struggles?—certainly, but program partners persevered, and MCHS escorted 2020 to the preverbal door and held their last clinic on December 28-29th. "Shelter intake has been down, yet we have increased some outreach services to make up for it. We do COVID-safe protocols for check-in and pet pick up with the staff and pet owners masked and keeping social distance. MCHS-NM has learned many lessons this past year on how to keep helping animals while maintaining the public's and staff's safety. We are so grateful for RAR's support during this toughest of all tough years."