The Affects of the COVID-19 Pandemic

We are certainly facing unprecedented times in the day-to-day management of small non-profits.  Especially those with missions that may not hold the perceived value of human service organizations.  The Humane Society is actually as much of a human service organization as it is a humane care organization for animals in need.

The Humane Society for Greater Nashua has been serving the humans of our community for over 100 years. A few ways we have continued to do so even amidst crisis is by maintaining a food pantry and through our temporary foster program. With our pet pantry, we provide pet supplies and food to pet owners who have fallen on a hard time in order to ensure they are able to provide quality care for their pet. Our temporary foster program allows pet owners to release an animal to us while they seek various treatment, pursue a new and safer living environment, or experience other temporary life disruptions. We strive to ensure that no matter the circumstance, families are not left with releasing their pet as there only choice, no one should have to lose the four legged members of their families.

Donations and event driven activities have been greatly reduced. The stock market crash not only weakens our financial position, but people are also affected and are less likely to give.  Jobs are lost, small businesses close and the surrounding community is destabilized.

Like most other good Non-Profits, we carefully and methodically manage our daily financial operation and are only able to continue to function thanks to the generosity of our donors.  When emergencies occur like the current COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to continue operations as normal are drastically reduced.

This week to our devastation, we found it necessary to furlough a number of personnel as a response to significant revenue reductions.  We have cut back hours for most of our full and part-time essential staff.  A number remain out on quarantine due to possible infections.  All volunteers have been asked to remain at home in an attempt to reduce disease spread, creating a great increase for our already smaller staff.  We have taken preventive measures by eliminating dog and cat transports and cancelling all low cost clinics.  Basically, at this time we are caring for those animals that have a variety of behavioral and medical issues, and those brought in as strays or released by their owners.

We have yet to receive owned animals coming from a COVID-19 positive environment. However, policies have been established to handle an animal coming from such a household. Although the CDC does not have any evidence that companion animals can spread COVID-19, due to potential fomite exposure, all animals will be held for a three-day quarantine.

We will never close our hearts or our doors. And we’d like to say a huge thanks to the support of our donors and friends.  These are challenging times that require strength, dedication and flexibility.  All of us will learn and hopefully grow stronger in our effort to bring some normalcy back to our community.