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Burbank Animal Shelter: COVID-19 Operation Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The awarded grant funds were used to purchase personal protective equipment for staff in preparation for our shelter's reopening following our mandated closure. Ultimately, the purpose for purchasing PPE was to ensure both our staff and customers felt safe and comfortable while working in or visiting our facility. The equipment was especially critical for medical staff, as sources of PPE were diminishing and proving difficult to find. Priority for the equipment was thus given to our shelter's medical team, consisting of one veterinarian and one veterinarian technician, so that they could resume providing medical services to our pets such as spay and neuter operations while mitigating the risk of spreading Covid-19 between each other. PPE was then prioritized for staff members who would need to interact with the public to conduct adoption screenings, adoptions and any other animal-related needs.

On June 23, more than three months after closing due to mandated shelter-at-home orders, our organization reopened for adoptions and other animal-related services by appointment only. Adoptions and most other non-emergency services ceased during our organization's three-month closure. The Petfinder Foundation Covid-19 Operation Grant was instrumental in allowing us to reopen. In the month after our shelter reopened, 86 animals were adopted by wonderful families.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Sammy and Delilah (first photo) were a pair of VERY high-energy bonded German shepherds who arrived at our shelter in December of 2019. The pair were very loving and extremely attached to each other. The two lacked basic training, did not know how to walk on leashes, and would need an experienced owner willing dedicate the time to train them. Those combined factors would not make for an easy adoption. In February, the pair were adopted and unfortunately returned within 24 hours due to their unruliness. Soon after, shelter-at-home orders would further delay new adoption prospects.

While the stay-at-home orders actually increased the number of people wanting to adopt companion pets, potential adopters proved hesitant to make the commitment with Sammy and Delilah. A couple of weeks after our reopening, a family of three with an Australian shepherd met with Sammy and Delilah. Although the family was still very reluctant to make the commitment because of the dogs’ extensive lack of training, shelter staff made a plan for the family to have several visits with our bonded pair and therefore better determine if they would feel comfortable bringing them home.

After three visits, the shelter suggested the family foster Sammy and Delilah without making a commitment to adopt. A week and a half later, the family reported that fostering was going smoothly and decided to make it permanent by adopting.

Having protective measures for our staff and potential adopters made Sammy and Delilah’s adoption possible. Without PPE, we would not have been able to safely welcome their new family into our facility at all, let alone multiple times. The dogs’ special needs, however, required any potential adopter to fully appreciate the high level commitment they would be making in order to ensure the adoption was a success.

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