Coronavirus Information

*Updated Wednesday, March 25th*


Q: Are you closed?
Yes. Our facility is entirely closed to the public beginning Wednesday, March 25th until further notice. Here is some additional information about each Department:

  • Adoptions: The shelter facility will be closed to the public from March 25- at least April 6. We will still be accepting adoption applications online, but no adoptions will be completed until the quarantine period is lifted.

  • Animal Care: Regardless of what happens, we will have a small team of staff members to care for the animals. Always. We are implementing social distancing into our scheduling so we can consolidate the animals into as few rooms as possible, and staggering staff schedules so they have minimal interaction with one another while doing their jobs. All volunteers have been asked to stay home for their (and our) safety.
  • We are CLOSING our Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Clinic and suspending our Low-Cost Vaccine Clinics until further notice. All Clinic clients with currently-scheduled appointments have been notified. We will reach out in the order you were scheduled at a later date. We will not be accepting new Clinic appointments until this crisis passes. We will update our website and social media with that information when the time comes.

  • Our Intake Department will be closed until further notice. Absolutely no animal surrenders of any kind.

  • We are suspending our Cardio for Canines and Mutt's Morning Out programs temporarily.

  • Our Happy Tails Resale Shop will be CLOSED through Saturday, April 4th for both donations AND shopping. This is for the safety of our shop volunteers, most of whom are 60 or older. We hope to be back open on April 11th but things are constantly changing.

  • River Kitty Cat Café will be closed starting Wednesday, March 25 until further notice. (The cats, of course, will be cared for each day.)

  • There will not be Emergency Food Assistance until further notice.

Q: Why is public support continuously needed for the VHS?
The Vanderburgh Humane Society senior leadership team wants to stress to the public that donations and support are vital, now more than ever, to make sure that our animals are cared for and our team members can remain employed. The organization depends 100% on donations from the public and fees from in-person services & programming including.

The VHS receives zero tax dollars or state/national funding from larger organizations.

Any reduction in public support and especially the closure of our Happy Tails Resale Shop/reduction in River Kitty income will mean a significant drop in public-facing revenue to help offset those expenses.

As a reminder, even when the shelter is closed to the public, expenses remain largely unchanged because a team of paid staff members must be there to care for the animals. We are currently asking all volunteers to stay at home for their own, and our, safety. The shelter’s animals and the cats at River Kitty must always be cared for without any interruption in their daily routines... and that takes money. It costs about $58,000 just to operate the VHS for 2 weeks! If you are financially able:

Click here to donate online.

All updates regarding COVID-19 closures and/or public procedures will be posted on our website and communicated with individual clients as needed.

Here are some frequently-asked questions regarding pets and the coronavirus.

Q: How should pet owners prepare for coronavirus quarantines?
It is always a good idea, even in normal life, to keep a minimum supply of your pet’s needs in your home. It is important now more than ever that pet owners be prepared. Some tips to consider:

  • Food. Families should ensure that they have at least a 2-week supply (preferably longer) of their pet’s food, particularly if that food is prescription or specialty and must be ordered online. Grocery stores & pet stores are considered essential businesses, and will not close.
  • Medication. Just as you would for your own medicines, be sure that your pet’s prescriptions are filled for an extended period.
  • Check with your regular veterinarian to verify their telemedicine policies, if they have any. See what options you have if your pet becomes ill or injured, but you need to avoid going out in public. Verify your vet clinic's hours so you know where to turn if your pet needs emergency veterinary care during this crisis. Seeking urgent veterinary care for a pet in crisis is considered "essential" and is permitted in Indiana at this time.
  • Homebound pet owners. Residents should be mindful of their elderly family members or neighbors who have pets. Check in with them by phone to make sure that they have what they need and do not need to go out in public to get it.

The VHS has already begun the process of ensuring that the shelter is stocked with ample food, medications, and supplies to care for the 180 animals currently in their care.

Keep in mind that being able to order products online is dependent upon a lot of factors. Even if grocery stores & pet supply stores are well-stocked now… pandemics can shut down a lot of cities and companies in a short period of time. Supply chains could easily be interrupted. Wherever your pet’s supplies are coming from, be sure that you have what you need just in case there are manufacturing, distribution, or shipping delays.

Q: Can I catch coronavirus from my pet, or vice versa?
There is zero evidence that COVID-19 can be widely transmitted from people to pets or vice versa. Dogs and cats can catch their own versions of coronavirus, which has been the case for many years. But it is not the same strain as COVID-19. Therefore, COVID-19 poses no threat to them based on the facts we have at this time.

Information from the ASPCA regarding COVID-19 and pets

Q: What activities can my children and I do at home to help the animals?
The VHS Humane Education Coordinator has compiled a list of some activities & crafts that kids can do while they are at home!

Download "Be Kind Stay Safe" Kids' Activity Book

Download "Community Cat Coloring Book"

Some Kindle e-books about pets, available for free in multiple languages from March 25-27: