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Letter: Wilson recognizes need for animal services

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Samantha Vasquez of Copperton is joined by her kids Avery, 6, and Aiden, 9, as they meet Tangerine the cat at the West Valley City Animal Shelter on Thursday, April 2, 2020, in a safe space just outside the shelter with the help of kennel tech Kim Castaneda. Due to COVID-19, many shelters are experimenting with Facebook Live adoption fairs or Zoom and FaceTime introductions with potential adopters, and if they are serious one-on-ones.

A huge thank you is due to Mayor Jenny Wilson and everyone at the Salt Lake County Mayor’s office for acknowledging the necessity of animal welfare services in the midst of a human crisis.
Throughout the country, a lack of certainty surrounds how to best handle COVID-19. In animal welfare, especially, the anxiety of how to best care for our shelter, our staff, and most importantly, the animals during this stressful time has weighed heavily. That weight was made considerably lighter with Wilson’s recent order, which classified animal shelters in Salt Lake County as essential businesses that may remain open during Utah’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order.
Utah Humane Society offers invaluable services to the community during this epidemic. From affordable vaccinations to protect public health, temporary foster homes for hospitalized individuals and continued adoptions to place homeless animals, our organization is certainly essential at this time.
Additionally, other counties have faced closure of their local animal shelters. By allowing Utah Humane Society to operate uninterrupted, we are able to take in animals transferred from closed shelters, offering relief to neighboring communities and saving lives.

From all of us at Utah Humane Society, thank you, Mayor Wilson.
Rachel Heatley, advocacy director, Utah Humane Society
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