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Finding companions during COVID-19, Coulee Region Humane Society remains open

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Those stuck at home looking for an excuse to get outside or find a companion may look into pet adoption, but the Coulee Region Humane Society does have new rules in response to COVID-19.

The Coulee Region Humane Society is currently only allowing essential staff members into the building to care for the animals. However, appointments can be made to schedule an adoption, surrender an animal, redeem a lost animal, have an animal under bite quarantine, or Heart 2 Heart and Franke Fund applications.

“If you are interested in adopting a pet, you would just need to go on our website or our Facebook page,” Executive Director Heather Drievold said. “We have all of the pictures and even videos of the animals there. Now is a great time if you can afford the responsibilities. You get some time to adjust and bond with that animal.”

Drievold says they do ask those interested in adopting complete an application before making an appointment. Staff members ask those who arrive for appointments wait in their cars to help improve social distancing.

“You could still come and when you are approved take home an animal,” Drievold said. “It is a very different process from what it was just a month ago.”

Staff are still coming in very day to provide care, but they are split into individual teams to avoid sharing contact. Drievold noted they are fortunate to be currently low on animals especially since volunteers are not allowed in the buildings. The Coulee Region Humane Society also has more foster families than animals available to them.

“Our biggest push has been getting them adopted and stock piling our volunteers for foster families that way once these animals come in and we need fosters, we can get them right back out of the building,” Drievold said. “We are sitting really good with both volunteers and fosters wanting to help us through this. We are so grateful that our community is so supportive.”

Understanding the number of families facing financial strain continues to grow, the Coulee Region Humane Society does have dog and cat food available for those who may not be able to afford it.

“We want to make sure the community pets are fed as well as our shelter pets,” Drievold said.

While the shelter has a full inventory for food, kitten milk replacer, bottles and supplies are needed as well as monetary donations. The Coulee Region Humane Society had to cancel fundraisers that would have raised money to cover veterinary costs.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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