March 20, 2020

Humane Society of Greater Dayton Nearly Empty Amidst Coronavirus Shutdown

By: The Humane Society of Greater Dayton

The halls are bare. The cages nearly empty. The sounds of purring cats or barking dogs a distant memory. Earlier this week, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, announced they are temporarily closing their main shelter as well as the MeowZa Cat Boutique inside the Dayton Mall for the safety of their staff, volunteers and animals. 

With this closure, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton is only open to essential personnel. However, with hundreds of amazing volunteers who do so much for the shelter (each year they donate enough hours to equate to 37 full-time employees), the shortage of helpers meant a strain on the shelter staff. For this reason, the shelter also recently asked for help from the community – and the community stepped up! 

“With so many of us staying home right now, many have had the opportunity to open their hearts and homes to help temporarily foster our animals as we all navigate through these uncertain times,” said Brian Weltge, President & CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. “Pets can be very therapeutic during stressful situations and we hope that our animals can lend peace of mind to people as much as the foster families lend comfort and care to the animals. It is definitely mutually beneficial.” 

Thanks to the support of the community, nearly 100% of the animals from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton are now in foster homes and the shelter is nearly empty. The only animals that remain are those that require special medical attention from the veterinary staff at our facility and these animals will continue to get the daily love and care they need. 

“I felt that fostering was a small thing to do to help all of the animals and people who take care of them,” said Sandy Van Fleet, owner of Agnes & Orson and a temporary foster to Cadie the cat. “It’s a small pebble, but it can make a big ripple in the pond.” 

The Humane Society of Greater Dayton has stated that their facilities will be closed to the public and volunteers until at least the end of March. They will continue to re-evaluate the situation to ensure that it is safe before reopening. 

“In such a critical time we must be proactive and socially responsible,” said Weltge. “We have such dedicated staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to care for the animals, but we need them to now focus on their health and safety.” 

Although all available animals have been placed into foster homes, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton still needs your support. With this closure, it is estimated that the Humane Society of Greater Dayton will lose an estimated $285,000. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, they rely solely on donations to run 100% of their programs and services. Your health and your family’s health should be your top priority. However, if you have the means and are able to give they would appreciate your support.


Media Inquiries

For media inquiries, photos or information regarding these stories, contact media@hsdayton.org

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