President’s Letter – April 2020
Dear RCHS Friends and Family,
I am proud!
The COVID-19 pandemic did not cause a panic at Rancho Coastal Humane Society (RCHS). We remain calm, determined, focused and resilient. We are making important decisions based upon real facts. I am proud of the way RCHS has responded to this national crisis with a cool head, a warm embrace (okay, “air hug”) and a generous spirit.
Here’s what we did – right from the start!
- RCHS quickly implemented social distancing protocols, enhanced cleaning routines, encouraged hand-washing and directed staff members to stay home if not feeling well.
- The animal care and medical teams took stock of what we had and what we needed to make sure we could continue to provide the best care possible to our cats, dogs, and rabbits.
- Medical supplies we didn’t need immediately were collected for donation to doctors treating humans at a local hospital.
- RCHS foster care providers were contacted to see if they could continue to care for the dogs and cats already in their homes. Additional foster families in our network stepped in, as did volunteers and staff members. New foster applications drifted in, like a March snowstorm! Our foster network is pulsing with new energy, and our animals are loving the “at home” time.
- On March 16th, we closed the RCHS Thrift Shop. Staff, volunteers and donors needed to be safe. That was a hard day!
- On March 20th, RCHS temporarily closed the animal shelter to the public and suspended adoptions. Spring Animal Camp was cancelled and Kids Community Services suspended. Volunteers were asked to step away from the shelter for their personal safety. That was an even harder day!
- On March 25th, more than 21,000 pounds of dog food donated through the Rescue Bank at GreaterGood.org was distributed to our rescue partners right from the front parking lot of Rancho Coastal Humane Society. Staff and volunteers loaded vehicles which trailed out of the driveway and onto the Requeza Street overpass. That was a good day!
- Our Pet Food Bank and Animal Safehouse Program are essential services that save lives. We continue operation of these outreach programs, focusing on keeping pets and their owners safe, healthy and together.
- Our FOCAS van responded to a call from an overcrowded shelter about to close, and we will continue to fill our kennels with animals that need our help!
- Animal care staff started training exercises, created treat puzzles and organized playgroups to stimulate the dogs. At first, the dogs were so excited to interact with each other and the park was filled with toy-tugging, fetching, mad-dashing and staff laughter. The novelty has worn off a bit – probably like how your “staycation” became forced isolation. Now, staff reports that the dogs are excited to get to the park, but once there, ignore each other in favor of checking “p-mails.” Bored teens – YOU get it!
- Donors showed support. Food and pet supplies were left at our closed gate, online donations eased the loss of Thrift Shop revenues, and words of encouragement and understanding filled inboxes and envelopes.
I am proud of all we have done. I am proud of our foster family network. I am proud of our community outreach and our response to others in need. I am proud of our staff who keep saying, “We got this!” I am proud of our teamwork, our accomplishments and our commitment to a healthy and safe work environment. I am proud of our donors and supporters who lend their grace to our cause.
Thank you for all you do to make us proud of what we do!
Stay safe and healthy,