COVID-19 Information and FAQs

As the coronavirus COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout Santa Fe and nearby communities, we are striving to protect the health and safety of our employees, donors, and customers. Below is some information and frequently asked questions regarding how things at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter have changed in response to COVID-19.*

We will continue to keep you updated as we navigate through this pandemic.

*all information current as of 5/22/20
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How is COVID-19 affecting your hours of operation?
Effective immediately, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter’s hours of operations by department are as follows:

  • Adoptions will be open by appointment only seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling (505) 983-4309 x1610 or by emailing adoption@sfhumanesociety.orgAll offsite adoptions are cancelled.  Due to travel restrictions, adoptions are available to people within New Mexico only.
  • Admissions will be open normal hours – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Friday, and 9 am to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Owner surrenders are by appointment only. Please call (505) 983-4309 x1606 to speak with an Admissions Counselor before coming in. See stray animal protocol below.
  • Behavior & Training Training support and classes have moved online! Visit this link to sign up for a class and contact us at (505) 983-4309 x1251 or via email at training@sfhumanesociety.org with any training or behavioral concerns.
  • The Cat South is open normal hours (Mon – Sat 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) We are accepting donations at that location during business hours.  Our newly revamped The Cat will be opening in our new location June 1st.  Click here for details.
  • S/N Wellness Clinic is open.  Click here for details.
  • Thaw Animal Hospital is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday thru Saturday, curbside only.  Please call (505) 983-2755 to schedule an appointment. You can also text (505) 983-2755 for appointment check in or email thaw@sfhumanesociety.org for medication refill requests, appointment requests, and callback requests.  We are currently seeing patients curbside only. Please text us when you arrive and we will check in your pet. A technician will be out to retrieve your pet as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience during this transition.

Is it safe to come to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter?
The Santa Fe Animal Shelter takes public health very seriously. We regularly clean and sanitize all surfaces within our facility, and will be taking extra precautions during the pandemic to sanitize high-use surfaces in our Adoptions, Admissions, Thaw, Shelter Clinic, and Satellite Clinic buildings. That being said, please stay home if you are not feeling well or are showing symptoms.   Please note, anyone entering our facility will be required to wear a face mask or covering.

Can my companion animal contract COVID-19?
At this time, there is no evidence that dogs, cats, or other companion animals can contract and/or communicate the COVID-19 virus. For more information on this topic, please visit the World Organisation for Animal Health's FAQ page and read the USDA press release on the subject.

How should I be preparing for my pets?
The ASPCA recommends that all animal guardians prepare a kit with essential supplies to have on hand in the event of an emergency. Your emergency kit should include a 30-day supply of your pets’ medication, as well as at least two weeks’ worth of food (but please, avoid overshopping.) It is also a good idea to proactively identify someone who could help with your pets’ short or long term care in the event that you are unable to care for your pet, and ensure that their vaccines and microchips are up-to-date. 

Is it safe to pet other animals?
While you should always exercise caution when handling an animal you don’t know, there is no reason at this time to believe that physical contact with animals will increase one’s chances of infection. However, it’s always a good idea to follow basic hygiene practices around animals, including thoroughly washing your hands throughout the day, and before and after direct contact with pets, their food, or their supplies. 

What happens if my companion animal gets loose?
If you have lost your pet, please contact the Admissions department during business hours at (505) 983-4309 x1606 to file a lost animal report. There is additional information to help you here.  Please also contact the Admissions department if you are having trouble keeping your pet in the home, or for information about pet-related resources. 

What if I find a stray animal?
Santa Fe City Animal Services has resumed their normal services as of 05/18/20.  If you find a stray in the city limits, you can bring it to the shelter through their office by calling ahead at (505) 955-2700.  If you need the help of Animal Services in transporting the animal, you can also contact them at that number.  Santa Fe County Animal Control is responding to priority calls only during this time.  If you find a loose pet in the County, we encourage you to try and catch the stray animal if you are able to safely do so.  Then bring the stray animal to the shelter or any open veterinary hospital to have it scanned for a microchip (please call ahead for current hours of operation). If a chip is found and the guardians located, we are asking you to reunite the pet with the pet guardian yourself if possible. If there is no chip or it is untraceable, we are asking you to (1) file a found report with the shelter at (505) 983-4309 x1606 with all the pertinent information and then hold on to the pet for the time being if you are safely able to do so, or (2) bring the stray to the shelter where we will take it in.

I need to surrender my companion animal. What should I do?
We are limiting owner surrenders to appointment only. Please call (505) 983-4309 x1606 to speak with an Admissions Counselor about our current surrender policy, and options for surrendering your pet. If guardians are having trouble feeding or caring for their pet(s), we have dog and cat food available (while supplies last) through our Adoptions department. 

My pet is sick. Can you help?
Yes, the Clare Eddy Thaw Animal Hospital is open Mon – Sat from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment.  We ask that if a client is sick, please have another person bring the animal in. Please call (505) 983-7255 to schedule an appointment. 

I’m having trouble finding or affording pet food. Can you help?
Yes. Our adoptions department will be providing pet food assistance to those in need. Please call our adoptions department at (505) 983-4309 x1610 for more information. 

There’s a dog/cat/critter online that I’m interested in adopting. How can I get the process started?
You can get a head start on the process by calling our adoptions department during operation hours at (505) 983-4309 x1610 to speak with an adoption counselor about the animal you’re interested in adopting, and schedule an appointment to meet with the animal on campus. In order to keep our community safe, we will be limiting the number of potential adopters permitted in the building at a time.   Due to travel restrictions, we are limiting adoptions to people within New Mexico only.

I need to get my pet spayed/neutered/vaccinated. Is the Spay and Neuter Wellness Center still accepting clients?
Our Spay/Neuter & Vaccine Clinic is now open.  Call 505.474.6422 to make an appointment.  You can find more information here.  Please be patient as we have a waitlist for both spay/neuter and vaccines.

How can I purchase or renew my pet's license?
If you are purchasing or renewing your pet's license, please do so online at www.sfhumanesociety.org or via phone by calling (505) 983-4309 x1606.

I’m a current volunteer at SFAS. What should I do?
Most volunteer programs have been suspended with the exception of our New Hope foster program and certain medical support programs. If you would like to learn more, please contact Carrie Gaston, Volunteer Coordinator, at volunteer@sfhumansociety.org.

How can I sign up to foster an animal?
We are currently doing OK on space, but we anticipate greater needs from our community in the future.  The best thing you can do is sign up to be a foster now so that you are all set should the need arise in the coming weeks.  You can fill out an application to become a New Hope foster here.   You can also view the latest list of animals needing a foster home here.  For more information, please call (505) 983-4309 x1270 or email newhope@sfhumanesociety.org

Where can I make a donation of supplies?
We will be accepting donations of towels, blankets, food, treats, etc., at the Adoptions Desk during hours of operation.  Currently, we are in need of cat and dog food, and medium to large dog crates, as well as anything listed on our Amazon WishlistYou can also donate household goods, clothing, art, and jewelry to our resale stores.  Click here for more info.

How can I help the Santa Fe Animal Shelter?
The best way you can help is by donating here. During this time of uncertainty, we need your financial support to ensure that we have the resources to continue caring for every animal that comes to us. You can also help animals that may find themselves homeless because of COVID-19 by adopting a new family member.

Below you will find additional information and resources about caring for companion animals during COVID-19:

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary – Pets and COVID-19: What You Need to Know

World Health Organisation for Animal Health – Questions and Answers on the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

ASPCA – Coronavirus: Keeping Your Pets Safe During the COVID-19 Crisis

USDA press release regarding animals and COVID-19