Do you think it’s difficult to give one dog a bath? Then imagine what it’s like to put more than 50 into the tub for a good scrubbing.
The foam will be flying on Sunday, starting when the shelter opens at 11 a.m. Staff and volunteers will be giving every dog at the Spokane Humane Society a thorough bath. It's one of the last steps of the parvo virus protocol that the Humane Society began after a puppy from Texas tested positive for the often-deadly virus on October 7.
Since then, kennels and common areas have been disinfected several times a day and all dogs have been watched extra carefully for signs of the highly contagious virus. The quarantine meant that volunteers couldn’t take the dogs out for walks and that only staff was allowed in the kennels.
“We shut down to protect everyone here and in the community,” said Randi Oien, director of operations and shelter manager at The Spokane Humane Society. “All our dogs are vaccinated. This is a good reminder to dog owners why it’s so important to vaccinate your own dogs.”
Shutting down canine adoptions was a costly decision for the Spokane Humane Society, which usually takes in and finds new homes for more than 100 dogs a month, but Executive Director Sheila Geraghty said she never questioned it was the right thing to do.
“It’s not about the cost to us, it’s about keeping the community safe,” Geraghty said. “But now it’s finally time to safely open the doors again.”
The dogs headed for the bath tubs on Sunday will be available for adoption at Spokane Humane Society starting on Friday, Oct. 27, and range in size from Chihuahua to Rottweiler.
“Let me tell you it’s going to be quite the bath time; it’s an all hands on deck kind of thing,” Geraghty said. “We need every ounce of dog shampoo we have and every towel.”
The ill puppy was sent to an off-site veterinary facility that could properly isolate and treat it, but it died from pneumonia last week.
“The sick puppy came here with another dog, but the other dog fortunately did not get sick,” said Geraghty. “We are thankful none of the other dogs got ill.”
Like is so often the case in the animal shelter business it’s the unusual that creates a financial hardship. The Spokane Humane Society lost a significant amount of income over the last two weeks.
“We are always short on cash,” Geraghty said. “We are grateful for donations of dog food and chew toys, but we can leverage a donated dollar very far toward paying our bills.”
Donation to help the shelter recover from the parvo quarantine can be made at www.spokanehumanesociety.org.
The Spokane Humane Society’s main fundraising event – the FurrBall – is on Nov. 18 at the Davenport Grand Hotel. Some tickets are still available and donations of auction items are welcome.
Tickets for the FurrBall may be purchased online. For auction donations, please contact development director Pia Hallenberg at (509) 467-5235 or via email.
(story: KHQ.com; image: Spokane Human Society)