Animal Shelter Drive - Please Help!

COVID-19 & Animal Shelters in VT - December 11, 2020

Please note: This drive is part of a Fair Haven Union High School R.E.A.L. class research project.

This project involves an investigation into the current situation of animal shelters in Vermont; specifically the Second Chance Animal Center in Arlington, Vermont and the Rutland County Humane Society.

The driving question for this project is: How can I help animal shelters during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

As a result of the investigation, I concluded that animal shelters are in need of supplies. COVID 19 has indeed had an effect upon the animal shelters, thus the student is conducting a drive for the following supplies:

  • Dry dog & puppy food and cat & kitten food (American Natural Premium brand, original) - unopened & please check the date of expiration
  • Canned kitten food (any brand) - please check date of expiration
  • Soft chewy dog treats
  • Cat and Dog toys (new only please)
  • Liquid dish soap (Dawn is best)
  • Paper towels

Please leave supplies in the bin placed at the Fair Haven Union High School front door (inside building) - directly in front of the main office between November 9 - Dec. 11, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact Deborah Ehler-Hansen:

Thank you very much!


Background Information:

We are currently experiencing a world-wide pandemic. I (the student) wondered how this has affected animal shelters across the United States. I conducted some initial research and found that, due to COVID-19, the process to adopt an animal has changed drastically. Please view this video to learn how things have changed in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I then reviewed information from the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association and found that on April 8th, 2020 they put out this statement, “Pet care, animal care and related businesses must suspend most-in-person operations under the Governor’s Executive Order.”

This is a copy of the Executive Order and Guidance for Vermont Veterinarians from the State of Vermont Office of the Secretary of State.

To help figure out exactly what the current situation is at local animal shelters in Vermont, I have reached out to the Rutland Humane Society and the Second Chance Animal Center in Arlington, Vermont.

I interviewed Mrs. Comar, the Executive Director of the Second Chance Animal Center and Beth Saradarian, the Executive Director of the Rutland County Humane Society. Please see the questions asked of the two directors below.

Questions for Mrs. Comar, the Executive Director of the Second Chance Animal Center and Beth Saradarian, Executive Director of the Rutland County Humane Society

1. Have the number of animals being brought to the shelter increased since the pandemic began?

2. What other effects has the pandemic had on the animal center?

3. What have been the reasons people have given when dropping animals off? (i.e., can no longer afford?)

4. Have you seen a change in adoption rates during COVID? (increase or decrease)

5. If you could start a fundraiser for the shelter, what would you raise money for?

6. What can community members do to help the local shelters?

7. Is there any way of making the foster process easier, or is it the way it is - to ensure the safety of the animals?

8. What can I (we) do to help the animals in the center during this time of crisis (pandemic)?

How I Plan To Help!

I learned a lot from Mrs. Comar and Ms. Saradarian. Mrs. Comar said the biggest issue they have at their shelter is the number of feral cats and kittens they have in that area. She said that the shelter can really use donations of cat litter, food, and toys.

Ms. Saradarian noted that they have list of items they need posted on their website. I checked out their list on the website and have decided that I would like to run a fundraiser for animals at both shelters in November! Please see the list of items I am collecting above.

For more information on the shelters, please see the websites listed below:

Second Chance Animal Center Website

Rutland County Humane Society

Also...PLEASE Help King!

There are many other ways people can help. This is King, who is at the Rutland County Humane Society. He can really use your help!

Please see this page to learn how to donate to help pay for King's "x-rays, bloodwork, surgery, pain medications, heartworm treatment, recovery and everything else that he will need." He will be very grateful for all your help! Thank you!

Big picture

Works Cited:

Comar, Cathi. Video Conference interview. Conducted by Samantha Charles, 20 Oct. 2020.

"Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19)." Vermont Veterinary Medical Association, Community Brands Holdings,LLC., 11 Sept. 2020, Accessed 16 Oct. 2020.

"New guidelines in place for Fort Wayne animal shelter." Clip Syndicate, 9 Apr. 2020, Accessed 16 Oct. 2020.

State of Vermont Office of the Secretary of State, Office of Professional Regulation. Veterinary Practice in the Declared State of Emergency. By G. Gilman, State of Vermont, 2 Apr. 2020.