Lincoln County humane society offers shelter for pet owners facing COVID-19 hospitalizations

The Lincoln County Humane Society has partnered up with Niagara Health and FIDO Niagara to shelter pets left behind by owners who've been suddenly hospitalized with the new coronavirus. Jessica Cohen / Fido Niagara

The Lincoln County Humane Society (LCHS) in St. Catharines has partnered up with the Niagara region in an effort to help out hospitalized pet owners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pet Emergency Temporary Shelter (PETS) program is a partnership with pet fostering agency FIDO Niagara, Niagara Health and Niagara EMS to work in tandem to shelter pets left behind by owners who’ve been suddenly hospitalized with the new coronavirus.

“If people in Niagara start going for medical treatment and care, and somebody might not be there for their pet, that’s where we come in,” said Kevin Strooband, executive director at the Lincoln County humane society.

Strooband says the program provides up to 14 days of boarding at the LCHS or fostering care through Fido Niagara depending on the animal’s circumstances.

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The agency is recommending pet owners fill out a simple information card and leave it on their fridge at their residence.

In the event they become ill, an owner can authorize paramedics and the humane society from the hospital to pick up their pet from home.

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“If they’re unable to talk, we have the details on their fridge that we can draw from to provide their pet exactly what it needs, particularly any medications,” according to Strooband.

The agency is encouraging owners to call on the service only as a last resort should friends and family not be able to help out.

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Strooband says despite finding foster homes for some 60 out of 100 pets they had at the humane society before the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency is running lean, having laid off 25 staff.

“We don’t have a lot of income because part of the of what we do over the front desk just has dried up,” according to Strooband.

“So there are eight of us left and a couple of people working from home.”

Donations to the LCHS to support care for animals still at the shelter can be made directly to the humane society online.


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