Tenth Life COVID-19 Response Updates
What Tenth Life Is Doing To Protect Cats and People
We're working hard to keep you informed about Tenth Life's response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and related issues. Visit this page weekly for updated information.
WHY IS SO MUCH CHANGING?
If you’re confused about the reason that many animal shelters across the nation are limiting the animals they are able to intake as a response to COVID-19, you are not alone. We realize there is a great deal of concern and confusion surrounding this topic and we hope to help shed some light on this important issue.
Thank you for your patience, kindness, and understanding with all animal welfare workers throughout these challenging, bewildering, and uncertain times.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Unfortunately, there is no template for this. We’re all experiencing something unprecedented in our lifetime.
As we continue to grapple with the continually evolving health, safety, and financial effects of this global pandemic, our top priority remains making sure we are meeting the needs of the cats in our care. We also seek to continue to do what we do best with the resources available to us on any given day. But we must to do all of this under a new paradigm while also carefully ensuring the safety of our staff, volunteers, fosters, and adopters. It’s a weekly and often daily process.
What we do know is that social distancing is slowing the spread of the virus and protecting our healthcare workers and the systems in which they work. We are committed to doing our part in that while finding new ways to help animals. Thankfully, animal welfare folks are devoted and diligent. They’re scrappy and all those we’ve spoken with are continually working on finding inventive ways to continue this important work during this time. They’re also looking at ways to revolutionize animal welfare for the future. If anyone can do this, we can do it!
We’re also acutely aware that kitten season is approaching and that many populations will be affected by the slowing of trap-neuter-return (TNR) operations during social distancing. Rescues and shelters have a great many things to consider right now and everyone is doing the best they can with the resources available to them. We hope it won't be long before we can all resume our operations. Until then, we have innovations to explore!
Ultimately, we devise to save lives and leave the world better than how we found it and, if nothing else, that has not changed. We find some comfort in that.
CAN I STILL ADOPT?
Absolutely! As long as we are allowed to do so, we will offer easy contactless, informative, adoption meet-and-greets using any and all available video conferencing options such as FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. All paperwork and fee payments can be completed online. Cats are handed off in recyclable cardboard carriers from a safe distance.
Unfortunately, meeting cats in person prior to adoption is suspended for the time being. Our adoption lounge is currently closed and all of our cats are currently in temporary foster homes and we have made the decision not to put you or our foster parents at risk.
CAN I STILL APPLY TO FOSTER?
Please do! As with adoptions (above) we can do all things remotely. It’s easy! If you or someone you know may be interested, it is easy to apply here.
CAN I APPLY TO VOLUNTEER?
We are working on that. You can apply and we will advise you about updates to our program as we have them. While we can do all things remotely, we are waiting to add new orientations at the moment as we attempt to utilize, engage, and recognize the volunteers who are already helping. We’re hoping to add an in-person volunteer orientation in May but if we find that we need to move to a remote option, we will update this page as soon as we know more.
CAN I VISIT THE ADOPTION LOUNGE?
Not right now. In mid-March, we made the difficult decision to temporarily close our adoption lounge and resource center to protect our staff, volunteers, and the community. It remains closed until further notice and all of our cats are currently in temporary foster homes. We will update you when we know more about a potential grand reopening. Thank you!
ARE YOU STILL ADMITTING CATS?
It's complicated. Our goal is to remain a safety net for our local animal control partners and continue to make a difference for cats in our service area. However, we are a small operation with closed doors and limited resources. As of April 1, 2020, we are still considering potential admissions, carefully assessing emergent needs, and making decisions with a lens focused on those most in need. Whenever it has been deemed safe and reasonably necessary to do so, we have been able to admit some of the neediest of cats and kittens from our service area during quarantine (observing safe social distancing practices in doing so). We regret that we may not be able to help every cat even if their needs are significant as we are working through a time of great uncertainty with very limited resources, many of which are outlined below:
A reduction in funds precisely when we need them most. Several fundraising events and pledges have been postponed and may eventually need to be canceled. We are working under the assumption that they will be.
Limited veterinary services. Many veterinarians have been forced to suspend elective or non-emergent surgeries and procedures for the time being. Many must preserve and may even have donated their stores of personal protective equipment, altering the procedures they are able to offer. This may change in due time. We will adjust as necessary.
Limited space in foster homes and closed doors. We have a finite number of foster homes, many of which are available for specific types of cats. Until our adoption lounge reopens, we are working with the resources at hand.
Capacity for care. Tenth Life only has two paid employees. Everyone else volunteers and all volunteer roles are being performed remotely at this time which can pose challenges and limitations to what we can reasonably and responsibly accomplish. Of course, we hope that no one gets sick but it is possible and we will adjust our expectations of our programs as necessary. We will continue to assess our capacity and abilities weekly.
With all of this in mind, it is impossible to predict how many cats and kittens we will be able to take in during this time. From day to day, our decisions about intake will be based on the availability of these and other resources. We will do our best to make wise decisions and help those most vulnerable. As always, we are here to answer calls and emails and provide any resources we are able to offer. We will still do all that we can to assist those in need.
WHEN WILL THIS CHANGE?
Of course, we take the health and safety of our community very seriously and will continue to follow CDC recommendations. Unfortunately, we don’t have a date for when our current operations will change and expect that they could change daily. We will update this page with any new developments. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout these challenging times.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I FIND A CAT RIGHT NOW?
That is an excellent question! Unfortunately, the answer may not be as simple or straightforward as one might hope.
Because many shelters are unable to respond in their typical manner due to limited staff and resources and because animals who enter overtaxed animal control facilities may be at risk, when you find cats or kittens in the field, we encourage you to visit our resources page and take time to assess if they are safe and can remain outside for the time being or if they are injured and truly need emergency intervention. Please note that if you do take them in, you may need to call many shelters (see our resources page) to find a rescue or shelter able to assist them. This may take some time. You may be called upon to help the cat throughout the duration of quarantine and beyond. We are all in this together and we all must play a role. If at all possible, please consider supporting rescues and shelters financially and otherwise.
If you would like to request admission at Tenth Life, you can do so here.
HOW CAN I BE OF HELP?
THANK YOU FOR ASKING! This is an important question. Honestly, what we (and likely most other rescues) need most are donations and sponsorships. Of course, we realize that many have been financially affected. If you are able, please consider a gift to keep our operations going through this crisis.
You can set up a fundraiser on MightyCause or Facebook or text the word COVID to 844-844-6844 anytime.
Fostering, adopting, and sharing our posts on social media and forwarding our emails to friends is also helpful.
We appreciate your kindness and support.
Other ways to be of help are simple too.
Consider helping a neighbor's pets when they cannot. You may be able to assist with food delivery or walks, etc. while carefully following the CDC guidelines regarding safely interacting with people in quarantine.
Reducing non-urgent intake. Our goal is to help pets stay with their families. We will do our best to assist with behavior questions and to provide resources. We are asking owners who are not facing an immediate crisis to hold onto their pets and not admit them into shelters where they may be at risk. If you must surrender a pet, please consider waiting for a later date if it is safe for you and your pet to do so. If strays are not found to be in imminent danger or injured, please determine if they can safely remain where they are for the time being to avoid overcrowding in shelters. You can visit our admission page to discuss your situation and we can work to provide the best possible resources during this time.
IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION TO CONSIDER
Can pets contract or transmit COVID-19? According to the CDC, there is no current evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 to people or that they might be a source of infection in the United States. They state that they are still learning about this virus, but they know that it is zoonotic and it appears that it can spread from people to animals in some situations. They are still investigating and encourage good hygiene. If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should restrict contact with pets and other animals to protect them, just like you would around other people. Here are some excellent resources.
As we learn more about COVID-19 and seek to answer all the questions, here are some of the reliable sources we are turning to and recommend:
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization
Best Friends Animal Society
American Pets Alive
National Animal Care and Control Association
My pet is sick but I’m not able to leave my house. How can I get help?
Check with your veterinarian as many are offering telemedicine wherever it is legal and allowable. In addition to this, Best Friends is offering free veterinary consultations for 30 days to people unable to leave their homes through their Best Friends Vet Access app when you use the code BFHELPS. Calls can be recorded and the service will be offered 24 hours a day. If you need medical assistance for your pet, please take advantage of this temporarily free service. Please note, the code BFHELPS is valid for 30 days, and the service is $12.99 after that unless cancelled. Download the app for free. They also offer excellent resources for ways to protect your pet should you become ill or need assistance as a result of COVID-19 or anything else. It makes great sense to do this anyway and now is a great time to act. You can find that information HERE and we do recommend reviewing it before you might need to.
Please feel free to monitor this page for updates. Thank you, once again, for your support.
Stay well! xo