Home Animal Stories How COVID-19 Has Impacted Contra Costa Animal Service Responses

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Contra Costa Animal Service Responses

by ECT

With so many changes across the State of California, it has also trickled down to Contra Costa County Animal Services with a new set of guidelines for the time being.

Some editorial here, but last night on a walk, my wife and I came across a beautiful elderly dog that was out lose in the street nearly hit by several cars before my wife and I somehow managed to bring him on the sidewalk and stay put. Given the dog was nursing a severe limp and looked shaken up, it looked injured–ultimately the dog was blind and deaf. With no tags or identification, we were forced to contact Contra Costa Animal Services… thankfully this was a happy ending as the dog was ultimately reunited with the owner nearly an hour later.

The wonderful Animal Officer was helpful and highlighted some of the things they are doing and no longer doing in response to COVID-19. With everything else going on, some of the items may have been overlooked by a majority of the public since they are trying to limit as much contact as possible.

Here is the rundown of changes since the seven Bay Area counties issued their Health Order:

What this means for CCAS:

following changes will be in effect by 12:01 am on March 17, 2020, until further notice (UFN)

Shelter/Medical Operations:

  • Pinole Shelter will close to the public and to impounds.
  • The Martinez Shelter and Spay/Neuter Clinic will be closed to the public, with the exception of the following categories that will be by appointment only:Lost/Found by appointment only.
  • Return To Owner (RTO) cases will still be allowed – by appointment only.
  • Transfer Partners will be allowed to pull animals – by appointment only.
  • All Adoptions will be suspended until further notice.
  • All Public Spay/Neuter surgeries suspended including TNR/RTF.
  • All Vaccination Clinics suspended until further notice.
  • All Mobile Adoptions suspended until further notice.
  • All Owner Surrenders will be suspended, unless a dog presents as a public safety risk, severe behavior and/or urgent medical need.

NOTE: we are evaluating the CCAS Foster programs to assess our capacity and needs.

Clerical Staff:

  •  Regular CCAS dispatch services will continue.
  • Call Center will remain open and will be the main resource for the public.
  • The Martinez Shelter front lobby will be monitored by staff to assist patrons who have appointments.
  • All auxiliary duties will continue (e.g. billing, bite reports, noise ordinance, etc.).
  • All licensing requests will be directed to Pet Data online only.

Volunteers:  We will be cancelling all volunteer shifts until further notice. During this period, we may need volunteers to assist with department tasks and will reach out when we identify tasks that may require volunteer support.

Field Services:

Impounds limited to:

  • Stray aggressive, if necessary.
  • Stray sick or injured.
  • Biter quarantines, if necessary.
  • Domestic versus Wild- known contact- If necessary- Quarantine at home preferably.
  • Inhumane cases wherein exigent circumstances exist for immediate acute medical care is needed.
  • Police/Fire assists, if necessary.
  • Stray confined animals, as needed.
  • Field Services will continue to focus on emergency-based calls primarily rabies exposure, sick, injured and acute inhumane activities.
  • Field Services will not be responding to search warrants, or non-emergent types of calls.
  • Potentially Dangerous and Dangerous Animal Ordinance Investigations:

Impound if:

  • the case is emergent and severe injuries sustained; we shall impound for biter quarantine.
  • Owner/Surrender in lieu of PDA/DA Permit process. Continue process of notification of PDA surrendered in lieu of permit process.

 Do not impound if:

  • There is no threat to a resident in the home, or to public safety, should the animal stay with its owner. The PDA/DA will be handled at a later time, out of custody.
  • Calls such as Domestic versus Domestics, non-priority inhumane calls, will be handled out of custody once this legal order is lifted.

More details about COVID-19 at: https://www.contracostahealth.org/

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