Ani-Care Animal Shelter moves to temporary home

Paige Jayo, holds her dog, Cricket, while she and her sister Brynlee Jayo, left, and their parents pause for a photo during the Ani-Care fundraiser on Saturday in the parking lot of Malheur Federal Credit Union in Ontario.

ONTARIO — The City of Ontario’s service sector is navigating another hurdle due to the on-going threat from the novel coronavirus COVID-19, this time however, it’s the dogs that are being impacted.

Ani-Care Animal Shelter, Ontario’s dog-only shelter, has made the decision to close its doors on a temporary basis as the COVID-19 public health crisis continues. The shelter encourages people to continue to follow them on social media to stay up to date with future happenings.

The canine population is not the only demographic being affected by Ani-Care’s temporary closure, law enforcement agencies in the Western Treasure Valley are feeling the impact of the closure and changing protocols in order to compensate.

In an email press release sent out on Wednesday afternoon, Ontario Chief of Police Steven Romero announced that the Ontario Police Department received notice of Ani-Care’s temporary closure due to concerns relating to COVID-19.

In response, the release goes on to list how OPD’s protocol is going to be altered temporarily based on the closure.

Romero said that the police department will no longer be responding to calls for dogs-at-large or found dog calls (except for those who are public safety hazards). The police department’s kennel will only be used for sheltering vicious dogs if picked up by staff. Public drop-offs and found dogs will not be accepted by the police department.

Romero said that if a member of the public finds a lost dog, they should “seek out dog rescue facilities or adequate third-party shelter for found dog(s) on a voluntary basis or will be directed to lodge the dog at their own risk.”

Romero said the department will be working with Ani-Care for kenneling “vicious dogs” but the staff have the right to refuse any services.

As information is made available regarding Ani-Care’s future operating plans, reevaluations will be made. Until that time the amended protocol presented by the Ontario Police Department will stay in place. At the end of the statement, Romero said that the OPD may secure a new service provider should Ani-Care “shut their doors long-term or permanently.”

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