No time to paws

The Jefferson County SPCA in Watertown is meeting with families wishing to adopt an animal by appointment only. Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — The Jefferson County SPCA is working to get ahead of uncertain and ever-changing times as it scrambles to find homes for two dogs and more than 30 cats.

Taylor Perrella was waiting outside the entrance to the SPCA at around noon Thursday. She had seen a post on the shelter’s Facebook page earlier that morning, which in part said “HELP NEEDED..... we need to place all cats into permanent homes or foster homes ASAP!”

Not two hours later, Ms. Perrella, who moved here last August as her husband is a soldier, and who has fostered six cats from the SPCA already, was waiting outside for her new friend, Snowbank.

“It’s not super easy because, even though you try not to, you do get attached,” Ms. Perrella said. “So it’s really hard giving them up and not knowing what becomes of the rest of their lives, but it’s a good temporary home for them.”

The animals need it now more than ever. As of Thursday at noon, the shelter had fewer than five dogs and more than 30 cats. Volunteers and employees have heard rumors about measures being taken in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, and as a result they are trying to put all their animals into a foster or permanent home by the end of Friday.

“I think we’re just trying to be proactive at this point,” said KateLynn Drohan, operations manager at the shelter. “You know how the rumor mill goes. We never want to not be prepared, so as the rumors get worse, it’s better to jump into and get ahead of it.”

The SPCA is a no-kill shelter and it intends to stay that way, Ms. Drohan said.

“I think all my staff would take home animals before we ever jumped to euthanasia,” she said. “I think I would set up a shelter in my house before getting to that point. We do not kill for space and we do not kill for time.”

And the shelter will remain open as of now, with hours being 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.

“Unless we get something from the government that says ‘absolutely you’re non-essential and you cannot travel,’” Ms. Drohan said Thursday, “we will be here tomorrow.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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