UPDATE: April 1, 2020: Our low-cost spay and neuter program is now on hold until further notice and our April School Break Camp Humane has been cancelled.
UPDATE: March 17, 2020: Family Dog School is now closed until further notice. For information, call 413-447-7878. Thank you!
March 16, 2020
We’d like you to know what we’re doing at Berkshire Humane Society to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To protect you, our staff and volunteers and the animals in our care and to support national, state and local recommendations, we are scaling back our operations until further notice.
What this means is that we’ll still provide quality care for homeless animals and continue programs that help pet owners in our community, but we will reduce our public interface to keep our staff and volunteers safe. Here’s what you can expect.
- Our shelters will be closed to the public. The main shelter at 214 Barker Road in Pittsfield will still be staffed at reduced levels to keep our animals healthy, safe and adoptable. Our satellite adoption facility, Purradise, will be closed until further notice. We have moved all the cats there to the main shelter.
- Adoptions and Surrenders will be by appointment only. You can still surrender a pet or come to see a pet you’d like to adopt at our main shelter, but you’ll have to make an appointment to do so. Please call 413-447-7878 to set up a time. Adoptions will not be available through Purradise. If you do come to Pittsfield for an adoption or surrender, please know that we’ve taken extra precautions to keep you safe from the virus.
- Cat Boarding will be available at our main shelter. Although Purradise will be closed for feline boarding, we can board your cat at our main shelter. Please call 413-447-7878 extension 124.
- Our Pet Food Bank and SafePet programs are still available. If you are a food bank recipient, please call 413-447-7878 to set up an appointment. Our SafePet program is available for owners of pets through our Participating Partners.
- Medical care to shelter animals, including spay and neuter surgeries will continue. We will keep our shelter animals healthy and adoptable by continuing to work with local veterinarians.
- Low-cost spay and neuter surgeries for cats will still be available to the public. Please call 413-447-7878 extension 124.
- Family Dog School is open. We are keeping this service available for now because class sizes are well below recommended levels and our training facilities are spacious, allowing proper social distancing. We are disinfecting our training room between sessions. As usual, Family Dog School is not open to the public, but to students who have registered for classes. Please call 413-447-7878 extension 139 if you have questions.
- Education Programs are on hold: All meetings of Humane Heroes and Defenders are cancelled until further notice as are tours and community programs.
- Volunteer opportunities are reduced. We have temporarily eliminated front desk volunteer duties and reduced other tasks not needed due to being closed to the public. Some volunteer duties not requiring contact with the public (such as enriching lives of shelter animals by giving them the love and care they need) will continue to be staffed by volunteers who are comfortable with doing so after being briefed on measures to protect themselves from the virus. Again, the safety of our volunteers and their families is paramount. We appreciate their work and look forward to their return.
- Catwalk Boutiques will be closed: Our resale shops in Lenox and Great Barrington will be closed to protect our staff and customers. Check the Catwalk Boutique website https://catwalkboutique.org/ or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CatwalkResaleBoutique/ for updates.
- Our in-person events through April will be postponed. This includes the Cat and Dog Film Festivals in Williamstown, now postponed to May 16 and 17, and the Lasagna Dinner scheduled for April 9th at Crissey Farm in Great Barrington, which will be rescheduled at a later date. The Humane Race, which had been slated for May 9, will not occur and whether it will be rescheduled is undetermined.
We realize that these measures may be inconvenient to you, but your safety and the safety of our staff, our volunteers and the greater community is important to us.
We are also aware that many of our community members may face financial difficulty in the next few weeks and we anticipate an increased demand for help through our Pet Food Bank and SafePet programs. Because of this, and because many of our fund-raising events have been postponed, we’re asking you to consider donating to us. We understand that some of you may not be in a position to do so in these uncertain times, but if you are, we’d be grateful for your help so we can continue to help others.
Thank you, and please, stay healthy.
Executive Director, Berkshire Humane Society