RHSPCA will only allow appointment visits to enforce social distancing

A cat up for adoption at the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA.
A cat up for adoption at the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA.(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 4:55 PM EDT
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To enforce social distancing during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Rockingham-Harrisonburg SPCA is making some changes to limit the amount of people coming into the shelter.

"Given the developments over the last week or so, we've further elevated our precautions, and part of that has been switching over to appointments for adoptions," Huck Nawaz, executive director at the RHSPCA, said.

Nawaz said people interested in adopting can check the animals out ahead of time on

. He said people can make appointments online or over the phone at 540-434-5270.

He adds they are limiting adoption appointments to two per hour.

"In the animal areas, we're limiting to two people going back there," Nawaz said. "Additional family can still visit, they just have to wait outside."

Nawaz said dogs can be taken outside to the yard to meet additional family members.

He said these changes were important to social distance because some areas of the shelter are close quarters.

Nawaz said now is a good time for people to foster the animals, and while foster group orientations have been canceled, the RHSPCA can still hold one-on-one foster orientations.

He said they are trying to increase the number of animals in foster care and decrease in the shelter in case staff members get sick.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, FAQ for pet owners, “Infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets become ill with COVID-19 or that they spread it to other animals, including people.”

Donations to help the RHSPCA can be made at

, by mail, or over the phone at 540-434-5270.