The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach will operate on an "appointment-only" schedule until further notice due to coronavirus, according to a press release.
"Adoptions will continue through an appointment based schedule and the City of North Myrtle Beach Animal Control Officers will continue to answer high priority and emergency calls," Executive Director Tina Hunter said in a statement. "Those calls include injured or sick stray animals, cruelty and neglect complaints, bite complaints, and dangerous or aggressive animal complaints."
The humane society asks community members to avoid surrendering healthy pets, following the guidance provided by the National Animal Care & Control Association, or NACA, which has advised animals shelters to take extra measures to lessen shelter intake to mitigate effects of the virus.
The North Myrtle Beach shelter located at 409 Bay St. has experienced a noticeable decline in adoptions during the past week, and expects that trend to worsen, according to the release.
"It's a predictable pattern that occurs anytime people feel uncertain or are worried," Hunter stated. "Because our shelter operates at or near capacity, reducing intakes and maintaining outcomes is essential to avoid overcrowding in the shelter."
Those interested in adopting a pet from the shelter can view adoptable pets at www.humanesocietynmb.org and call the shelter at 843-249-4948 to schedule an adoption appointment.
"Our main focus at this point is to continue to serve our citizens and the animals currently in our shelter while ensuring the safety and health of our staff, volunteers and community members," Hunter stated.
The humane society is also looking for about 200 "on call" emergency fosters who can take home a pet to free up space in the shelter. Fosters for both dogs and cats are needed, with fosters for medium and large dogs and pets with medical issues being a higher priority. The Humane Society provides vet care, crates, supplies and food for animals being fostered. One can sign up to become a foster caregiver at the shelter's website.
One can also donate to the shelter online. A bin has been set up outside the shelter for in-person donations. The release said the humane society is working to raise $10,000 to boost outreach efforts, stock fostering supplies and provide care to over 200 animals currently living in the shelter.
"Critical items can also be purchased directly from the shelter's Amazon Wish List and shipped directly to HSNMB," the release said. "Most needed items are medium and large crates."
The shelter encourages pet owners to make sure their animals are wearing identification and are micro-chipped. They are also urged to make plans for their pets in case someone in the home falls ill by stocking up on enough pet supplies to last two weeks and identifying a pet sitter who can help in case a pet owner is hospitalized.
Anyone who loses or finds a pet can fill out a Lost or Found Report online.