'Really heartwarming:' Islanders flood humane society with donations during COVID-19

The P.E.I. Humane Society says the generosity of Islanders who answered the call for donations last week is amazing and heartwarming.

Shelter closed to public, but still accepting donations, processing adoptions

Casey, an 18-month-old cat, is one of the animals available for adoption at the humane society. (P.E.I. Humane Society)

The P.E.I. Humane Society says the generosity of Islanders who flooded the shelter with donations last week is amazing and heartwarming.

Jennifer Harkness, development and communications manager, said about 40 large bags of donations were dropped off in the last couple days after they posted on social media that they were looking for items such as egg cartons, blankets and cat litter.

"We were just blown away by the response," she said. "Everybody at the shelter was amazed by the support that we saw from the community. It was really heartwarming."

The humane society closed to the public last week because of COVID-19 concerns. However, the dog park is still open, donations can be dropped off outside and adoptions can be processed online, but under the same strict protocols.

"We are doing all applications online and fast-tracking adopters so everything is pre-approved," Harkness said. " When they meet the animal at their appointment, then they go home right then."  

Jennifer Harkness says about 40 large bags of donations have been dropped off at the humane society over the last few days. (P.E.I. Humane Society)

Harkness said 36 animals — 16 cats, 19 dogs and a Guinea pig — were adopted last week alone.

There are 60 animals still in care. Harkness said the organization continues to provide essential animal care on site, but administration staff are working from home to limit social interaction as recommended by the province's public health office. 

Stopped taking in animals

The shelter has stopped taking in animals, with the exception of emergencies, until further notice, Harkness said.  

Harkness said donations are always welcome. She said they now have plenty of towels, bedding, newspapers and egg cartoons, but could always use more cat litter or monetary donations.

"People are so generous and we're seeing those stories all over the place, where it's the people who are supporting our health-care workers or, you know, people out supporting the shelter.

"It's just nice to know that the community is there for the animals and that we're all in this together, and we're here to help each other, too. And that's just the best feeling."

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Shane Ross is a former newspaper and TV journalist in Halifax, Ottawa and Charlottetown. He joined CBC P.E.I.'s web team in 2016.