The Toronto Humane Society has kindly made available its documents for navigating the re-opening and recovery phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. These downloadable documents have been white-labelled. Shelters are encouraged to rebrand and adjust them for their own use. Acknowledgement and attribution are not required. (Page created: June 2, 2020)
Roadmap For Recovery
UPDATED A step-by-step roadmap – for modifying and reopening services based on a balance of priority and risk. Contains practical planning tables and a helpful list of appendices and references.
Infection Control Adjustments for COVID-19
This protocol outlines the five strategies recommended by best-selling surgeon and public health researcher, Dr. Atul Gawande, adapted for an animal shelter context. It also draws on additional shelter and veterinary sources.:
- Shelter Infection Control Strategies for COVID-19 – note that information, such as the role of fomite transmission or the questions in the screening questionnaire, may change over time. Refer to the most up-to-date local authorities or reputable health agencies when adjusting for your shelter.
To help remind staff about the strategies, shelters can print and post these engaging and informative posters:
Staff Training for Infection Control for COVID-19
Recommending change is easy. Implementing it is hard. This presentation soberly explains the reasons for ongoing and rigorous precautions against COVID-19, and what those precautions are. The goal is to establish a culture where staff willingly make and promote the necessary changes.
- COVID-19 Infection Control Training PowerPoint
- Script to accompany the PowerPoint – can be turned into a slideshow or video with embedded audio, or presented to staff by video link or live in the shelter
- NEW COVID-19 Update October 2020 (what we know now) – pdf
- NEW COVID-19 Update October 2020 (script)
- NEW COVID-19 Update November 2020 (another look at surfaces) – embedded audio
Managing COVID-19-Exposed Animals in the Shelter
Infection control measures for exposed animals require further steps that are not covered in the general infection control protocol.
- UPDATED Protocol for managing COVID-19-exposed animals (shorter quarantine period)
- Disclosure for foster parents and adopters, following the quarantine period
Service, Communication and Fearless Feedback
Apple Inc™ kindly donated their time and expertise to the Toronto Humane Society in 2019 to help us communicate better with the community and one another. The training included customer service, communication and the Fearless Feedback approach. Fearless Feedback empowers staff to provide immediate, compassionate feedback, whether positive or negative, from any level of the organization to any other level, or from staff to volunteers or the public.
These tools are particularly important now, as emotions run high around issues like a requirement for face masks, or situations where staff members need to remind a client to social distance appropriately. The ultimate win is a respectful, effective communication, compared with negative and potentially dangerous scenarios where someone might get injured or sick.
These documents have been white-labelled to allow them to be adapted for other organizations.
Plus! Watch the Scott Weese Webinar on COVID-19 in Animal Shelters.
Watch the Scott Weese webinar on COVID-19 variants of concern as it relates to shelters. Learn more here.