Animal Shelters In Fairfax County Adapt To COVID-19 Outbreak

Fairfax County Animal Shelter Director, Dr. Karen Diviney said, “Animal shelters across the region are preparing to take care of pets, staff and the public during the COVID-19 outbreak.” The Fairfax shelter has released its public update on services and programs. All area shelters are making plans and all are in touch to assure preparedness.

Robert Reed enjoys the company and a walking assist from canine friends

According to, “The public should have no fear for the wellbeing of shelter animals during the health crisis. Their care is “first and foremost”, said Diviney. “The Fairfax County Animal Shelter staff is cross-trained in cleaning, medicating, feeding and exercising; including the shelter managers.” The operation could sustain itself even with the up to 20 percent absence rate that could be possible in the coming weeks. The shelter also has a robust volunteer program, with more than 300 active and dedicated volunteers. Those volunteers will continue to serve unless they become ill or are exposed to someone who is ill. Said Michael Gatsos, who’s been volunteering for a year walking shelter dogs, “Gotta help the puppies.”

As per, “The shelter’s website also may provide some ideas for parents seeking to keep children occupied during the school closure. The shelter page, in the “volunteer, foster, donate” section lists nine projects for kids. While the shelter is not accepting direct donations of items until at least April 15, projects can be undertaken now and held for later donation. Those looking for other ways to help the shelter will find its Amazon wish list in the same donations section and can order and arrange mailing to the shelter.”

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Maryam N. is a Senior Writer at Nesbitt Realty. She is an expert on Fairfax County. Maryam has also worked previously as a geologist. She is a foodie and enjoys cooking and exploring new restaurants.