Humane societies still hard at work amid COVID-19 crisis

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MARION COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV) — While most businesses sent their employees home and shut their doors, the staff at the Marion County Humane Society in West Virginia still has work to do.

"We do have an essential job — it may not be servicing the public directly, but we still have to be here every day and we still have to take care of the animals," said Frankie Spatafore, the shelter manager

The shelter has been running under special hours with adoption by appointment only, to limit the amount of people inside at one time.

"We're spacing out appointments at least by half an hour to give appropriate time to sanitize and disinfect and make sure we're following the proper precautions," said Spatafore.

And despite online rumors, dogs and cats cannot contract COVID-19.

"The dogs and the cats cannot transmit the virus," Spatafore said "It is believed that the virus can live on the fur of the animals, but with proper hand washing and precautions, you are keeping yourself safe,"

But because of Governor Jim Justice's "stay at home" order for West Virginia, the shelter will be forced to close their doors. But that doesn't mean the animals will be left behind.

"We will be closed to the public, but rest assured our staff will still be here caring for the animals," said Spatafore

The shelter will be open with limited hours until 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 23rd. Adoption fees will also be discounted.

"Our adoption fees will all be reduced to try to encourage more people to come and rescue,"

The adoption fee for dogs will be reduced from $175 to $75 and the adoption fee for cats will be reduced from $75 to $25.

This still includes the shelter spaying or neutering the pet along with microchipping and vaccinations.