Citing the “welfare of our staff and community,” the Maryland SPCA has decided to close its facilities to the public on March 23 and temporarily suspend operations because of the coronavirus threat, the 150-year-old animal welfare organization announced March 21.
“Rest assured, all shelter animals will be cared for during this temporary suspension,” Jim Pierce, executive director, said in a Facebook post and in an email. “We’ll be placing them in foster homes with our incredible volunteers and staff.”
The announcement was also posted to the SPCA website, where it appeared under a “Critical COVID-19 Update” header. The post itself does not mention the coronavirus or the COVID-19 disease it causes.
No adoptions, admissions, veterinary care or surgeries will be available during the closure at the SPCA’s facilities on Falls Road in Baltimore, Pierce said.
“We are asking our staff to stay at home, with the exception of a small team of emergency response personnel who will provide very limited services,” Pierce said in the post.
“Our hearts are with you, your families, and your pets during this unprecedented situation,” the post continues. “We look forward to resuming essential services as soon as possible. Stay healthy and safe.”