COVID-19 UPDATES FROM NHS

Links:  Preparedness for your pets
Pet disaster preparedness kit from the CDC

Updated July 19, 2020

With the increase in Covid-19 cases. the new City and County ordinances requiring masks, and for everyone’s safety, masks are now required at the NHS Adoption Center, Second Chance and Second Chance Closet stores. If you don’t have one, we will be happy to provide you with a disposable mask at the door for free. At the NHS Dog Park, masks are required inside the building, but not outside if social distancing is maintained. We have reactivated the outside pass-card gate to give members access to the park without going through the building. We are sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.

Updated June 5, 2020

With Phase 2 opening in place as of Friday, June 5, the NHS Adoption Center is again open for walk-ins. We are still abiding by social distance guidelines and highly recommend that face masks be worn while in the shelter. In order to keep social distancing practices, we are still limiting the number of clients in the shelter at any one time. Please consider making an appointment to secure your place in case the shelter is busy.

Dog Park summer hours have been reinstated effective June 8: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Tuesday. New memberships are being accepted, and we have increased the number of guests allowed in the park to 20 per time slot.  The time slot system is still in place, but with the increase in people allowed, walk-ins are possible.  We will still be disinfecting throughout the day.

Our Second Chance and Closet resale stores are still in need of volunteer help in every department.  Please spread the word to anyone you may know who may want to volunteer there.

Adoption Waggin’  is resuming. Please check the “Coming Events” section on the front of this website for updates.

Group Volunteer Dog Walking will resume Tuesday, June 9th.  Please be mindful of social distancing while you are here. We still ask that you use the same leash while you are here and we will disinfect them all afterwards.

The cattery has a limit of 4 people so you may have to step outside if we meet that number.

We are asking everyone to practice social distancing and follow everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is suggested by the CDC that everyone wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose when in public, cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow and wash/sanitize your hands frequently. Please DO NOT visit the Adoption Center, Dog Park, or Stores if you have a fever or are experiencing any symptoms of illness.

The CDC advises that older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Volunteers and guests should evaluate their risk when determining whether to volunteer as any interaction with the general public in your daily activities can pose an elevated risk of being exposed and therefore we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed during your visit. Please visit the CDC and Florida Department of Health for the latest guidelines.

Thank you for your understanding and support of the Nassau Humane Society!

Updated May 11, 2020

The Nassau Humane Society shelter reopens Tuesday, May 12 at 11:30 a.m., until 5 p.m. Our Dog Park, Second Chance and Closet stores reopened May 11.

All of our facilities are following the guidelines of social distancing, protective gear, sanitizing, and limited groups of individuals in a facility.

  • The Shelter continues to operate under its full mission.
  • The Shelter will be accepting animals that are surrendered, injured or rescued.
  • The Shelter will be adopting animals, arranging fosters and caring for the medical needs of animals.
  • The Shelter continues its Animal Control duties and responsibilities.
  • The Shelter will operate with a 10-person limit (including staff as well as public) in administrative, kennel and public areas of the facility. We recommend that visitors call (904) 321-1647 for an appointment to avoid exceeding the 10-person gathering limitation (a limit of 2 members of the public in the lobby area).
  • Adoption “meet and greet” groups will be limited to not more than four individuals. Shelter staff will escort prospective adoption clients in the kennel areas.
  • We recommend that individuals in the “higher risk” category as outlined in the state guidelines wear a mask and follow social distancing. Masks and social distancing for all are encouraged.
  • The Shelter will be routinely disinfecting and sanitizing all surfaces in public areas to include rest rooms, hard surfaces, light switches and floors, as well as animal housing areas and medical treatment areas.
  • Hours of operation are Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.- 5 p.m., Friday  11:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.,  Saturday  11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Sunday  11 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Monday.

Updated May 5, 2020

We’re happy to report that the Nassau Humane Society and its affiliates are reopening!

The NHS Shelter, Dog Park, and Second Chance and Closet stores will follow state guidelines for Phase 1 reopening and any guidelines disseminated by the Nassau County Emergency Operations Center and medical advisors. All of our facilities will follow the guidelines of social distancing, protective gear, sanitizing, and limited groups of individuals in a facility.

The Shelter will reopen Tuesday, May 12 at 11:30 a.m. and resume its regular operating hours. There will be protocol changes, which are outlined below.

The Dog Park will reopen Monday, May 11 and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except closed Tuesdays for deep cleaning. Reservations will be required for 45-minute exercise periods, and the park will be limited to 10 clients and their dog(s) at any given time. Details are outlined below.

The Second Chance and Closet resale stores will reopen Monday, May 11 and will be open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sundays.  There will be new protocols, which are outlined below.

  • Nassau Humane Society Animal Shelter:
  • The Shelter continues to operate under its full mission.
  • The Shelter will be accepting animals that are surrendered, injured or rescued.
  • The Shelter will be adopting animals, arranging fosters and caring for the medical needs of animals.
  • The Shelter continues its Animal Control duties and responsibilities.
  • The Shelter will operate with a 10-person limit (including staff as well as public) in administrative, kennel and public areas of the facility. We recommend that visitors call (904) 321-1647 for an appointment to avoid exceeding the 10-person gathering limitation.
  • Adoption “meet and greet” groups will be limited to not more than four individuals. Shelter staff will escort prospective adoption clients in the kennel areas.
  • We recommend that individuals in the “higher risk” category as outlined in the state guidelines wear a mask and follow social distancing.
  • The Shelter will be routinely disinfecting and sanitizing all surfaces in public areas to include rest rooms, hard surfaces, light switches and floors, as well as animal housing areas and medical treatment areas.
  • Hours of operation are Tuesday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.- 5 p.m., Friday  11:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.,  Saturday  11 a.m.- 4 p.m., Sunday  11 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Monday.
  • Until our reopening, adoptions and fosters will still be available by appointment.
  • • NHS Dog Park (first and third entries revised):
    • Reservations are now being taken for slots on the Dog Park schedule. Each day the park is open, there will be 45-minute exercise periods beginning on the hour. Please call the Dog Park administration at (904) 321-1647 Ext. 107 to reserve a time slot, the first starting at 9 a.m. and the last at 3 p.m. When you sign up for a slot, that time period will be yours each day. The Dog Park will be limited to 15 clients with their dog(s) for each exercise session.
    • On the ¾ hour, the Dog Park will be closed for the staff to sanitize the facility.
    • If you need to adjust your time slot, please let park administration know and we will accommodate you if possible. In the event there are not 15 reservations for the next hour’s exercise period, a client may request additional time with the administrative staff person on duty on a first come first serve basis.
  • The card access gate will be disabled. All clients will enter the Dog Park through the park’s administrative office, and leave the park after their exercise period via the side gate.
  • “Social distancing” is required while in the Dog Park exercise area.
  • The Dog Park recommends that those individuals in the “higher risk” category as outlined in the State and Federal guidelines wear a mask.
  • In the event there are not 10 reservations for the next hour’s exercise period, a client may request additional time with the administrative staff person on duty on a first come first serve basis.
  • Dog Park members may choose to bring their own water for their animals.

 

  • NHS Stores:
  • The stores will be limited to 20 persons in 2nd Chance and 7 persons in the Closet store.
  • Staff will wear masks and gloves during hours of operation.
  • Social distancing will be required in the stores.
  • We request that  customers wear masks, especially people in higher-risk categories as outlined in state and federal guidelines.
  • Customers will be asked about their health status prior to entering the stores.
  • Receipt and pickup of donations will resume 1 week after opening.
  • Dressing rooms will be closed during Phase 1 of the COVID-19 protocols.
  • If donations are unable to be sanitized, those donations will remain in the storage area for a period of 72 hours.
  • The stores will routinely be disinfecting and sanitizing all public areas and hard surfaces in the store, restrooms, doors and switches.

 

  • Volunteers:
  • All volunteers will be required to maintain social distancing.
  • Group dog walking will continue to be suspended at this time.
  • All volunteers will be scheduled by the Volunteer Coordinator for particular assignments.
  • All volunteers categorized as higher-risk are recommended to wear masks and gloves.

NHS and its affiliates will be operating under the conditions outlined in Governor DeSantis’  Executive Order  20-112 and Florida’s Recovery Plan, The Plan: Phases for Re-opening Phase I guidelines.

Thank you for your understanding. Until the Shelter reopening, you can still set up adoption or foster “meet and greet” appointments. If you have questions, please call us at (904) 321-1647 or send an email to [email protected] Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Updated May 1, 2020

Our shelter remains closed except for adoptions and fosters by appointment, and emergencies. The NHS Dog Park and Second Chance/Closet stores also are closed. To contact us please call (904) 321-1647 during our regular business hours, or email [email protected] For animal control calls within the city limits of Fernandina Beach please call (904) 491-0122. (For issues outside the city limits, the number for Nassau County Animal Services is (904) 530-1650.)

Details of our current operating protocols are in the message below. (The governor’s “Safer at Home” order has expired but the same protocols are continuing at NHS for now. We are evaluating our operational needs and safety concerns and will keep you posted on our plans.) Please check back here or at our Nassau Humane Society Facebook page for updates.

If you would like to make a donation to help us continue our mission during this difficult time and beyond, please click here.  Thank you for your understanding and your support of the Nassau Humane Society.

April 3, 2020 A MESSAGE FROM NHS — NEW COVID-19 PROTOCOLS

Dear Friends:

With the Governor’s statewide executive order “stay at home“ and the provisions of that order the Nassau Humane Society needs to institute more restrictive protocols. In coordination with the County Emergency Operations Center, we will begin today our new operations protocols.

We recognize and appreciate the staff, volunteers and members of the Dog Park for their contributions to our organization. But, for the betterment of the public during these trying times, it is best to implement more restrictive policies. And, we acknowledge that the Governor may yet again implement additional restrictions.

As of today the following protocols will be put in place:

— The Dog Park will be closed until restrictions are lifted.

— The Shelter will be limited to employed staff to care for the animals.

— Volunteer activities at the Shelter and Dog Park are suspended.

— ACO services and surrender and injured animal services will be continued.

— Adoptions and fostering of animals, at this time, will continue with a limit of not more than three family members with prior appointment and escorted by a staff member. (Please call 904-321-1647 to set up an appointment.)

We will be providing additional guidance for those members of the Dog Park as it relates to their membership.

Our mission will continue as a non-kill animal shelter. Unfortunately at this time we will be limiting our activities to our primary service area.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support of the Nassau Humane Society. It is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Norman A. Ledwin
President, Board of Directors
Nassau Humane Society
April 3, 2020

April 2, 2020

Starting Friday, our Dog Park will be closed and our Adoption Center will be closed to the public in accordance with the governor’s stay-at-home order. Please check back here for updates as available.

UPDATE: We still have cats and dogs who need fosters and/or adoption. We plan to continue with adoptions and fosters on an appointment-only basis, although the situation is fluid and subject to change. Please check our adoptable pets at nassauhumane.org/adopt, then call (904) 321-1647 to schedule an appointment to see your favorite. Thank you for your understanding.

March 31, 2020

Dear NHS Second Chance and The Closet Customers and Supporters,
We are currently closed to donations as well as shopping until Covid-19 recedes.
Right now, even accepting donations is considered a non-essential risk to the health of all parties involved. Thank you so much for everything you have brought us in the past few days. We have the best donators (and Volunteers!) in Florida!
We WILL open again and look forward to having a Grand Reopening! Have any ideas about that? We’d love to hear them! What do you think would make our return special?
In the meantime, our fur kids are safe, either at the shelter or in foster homes. Our staff and volunteers are also keeping safe and following health guidelines that are currently in place.
Until we see each other again, please take care of yourselves and we will continue to keep you updated. You aren’t just customers to us, you’re family!

March 25, 2020

Nassau Humane Society is asking the public to please contact us prior to coming to our shelter. For your and our staff’s health and well-being, we are limiting the number of visitors to our facility at a given time. Our number is (904) 321-1647 and our email is [email protected]
We ask that you view the animals still at our facility online and contact us with questions or to schedule a time to meet the animal(s) and we will do our very best to accommodate.
We appreciate your patience with us and your continued dedication to being a part of our life-saving missions and Team NHS.
To view our animals you can go to www.nassauhumane.org. Thank you! 

March 23, 2020

Nassau Humane Society staff has been overwhelmed by the turnout of families and individuals who have opened their homes to animals during this time.
We cannot thank you all enough for your time and patience.
We still have animals waiting for their second chance and encourage you go online to nassauhumane.org/adopt to view the animals waiting.
If you are interested in a specific animal please contact us and we can work with you on how to meet them.
And again, thank you for your continued support of Nassau Humane Society, we cannot save lives without you.

March 22, 2020

Second Chance and The Closet are closed to the public until the health emergency passes. Minimal personnel will be available to accept your donations Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm. We will be accepting donations ONLY at the BACK DOOR of Second Chance. We ask that you DO NOT drop anything off outside of these hours. The items may be damaged or, sadly, stolen.

We will continue to offer donation pick up services on Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment. Please call 904.321.0022 to schedule. If no one answers, leave a short message with your name, number, and address. We will return your call as soon as we can.

We look forward to seeing you when we reopen, and please be assured that the pets under the care of our shelter are still safe and loved during this time!

** You can shop with Second Chance and support NHS — online! Please visit our eBay store! **

March 20, 2020

NHS Second Chance will be OPEN Saturday, March 21, 9:30 – 5. Our 50% storewide sale will continue through 5 p.m.!
It will be our last day of being open to the public until we flatten the curve.
Help us come back sooner by following those safety guidelines!
We have critters to save!

March 18, 2020 — Dear friends of NHS,

We are asking your help to keep both our people and our rescue pets safe during the coronavirus emergency.

We need to reduce the number of pets in our shelter so we can continue our life-saving missions for vulnerable animals in need.

We are asking you to please consider adopting or long-term fostering one of our shelter dogs or cats. We are waiving all adoption fees between now and Saturday to say “thank you.”

If you can foster a pet, we’ll provide all the supplies you need. Please call us at (904) 321-1647 to ask about our foster animal delivery program! You can see our adoptable/foster pets online at nassauhumane.org/adopt.

Here are other steps we are taking:

Our group dog walks and volunteer orientations are canceled for now. We are asking experienced volunteers to sign up online for continued enrichment of the animals, within the guidelines of social distancing. Volunteers will receive an email with a link, along with optional training links for volunteers who are opting out of physically coming to the shelter, so they can stay involved with training until they can return.

We strongly encourage the public to limit shelter visits to animal fosters and adoptions only.

We will not be taking in owner surrenders at this time. Animal Control dispatches will be limited to emergencies, in accordance with National Animal Care and Control recommendations.

For our Dog Park patrons: We will be limiting admission to 10 members during 45-minute sessions throughout the day. This is to adhere to recommended social distancing and avoiding large group gatherings. Please sign up for a time slot in person or over the phone (904-321-1647). One time slot per person per week (you can attend during the allocated time daily). New members as time slots allow. Time slots will start at the top of each hour and end at 45 past each hour to allow for sanitizing in-between sessions. The park will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except Tuesdays (extended weekend hours).

There are additional ways you can help during this time:

Share our Facebook animals available for adoption from our photo album to help them get one step closer to their forever home.

Share your adoption success stories to promote adoption!

Please consider a monetary donation to Nassau Humane Society. We are committed to our lifesaving missions during this time and will continue to assist animals in need, but we cannot do so without your help. Our staff is working to heavily sanitize all public traffic areas daily (lobby, bathrooms, etc.). Please visit nassauhumane.org/donate to help.

We are sorry for the inconvenience, but the health and safety of our staff and volunteers is paramount. Please come meet your new best friend while adoption fees are waived. If you have questions, please email: [email protected] Thank you for your understanding, and your support of rescue animals!

The NHS Adoption Center is at 639 Airport Road in Fernandina Beach, (904) 321-3647. Adoption hours are 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays. The NHS Dog Park is at 641 Airport Road.

Links: Preparedness for your pets 

Pet disaster preparedness kit from the CDC

Coronavirus FAQ from the CDC

March 17, 2020 The impact of the coronavirus situation cannot be downplayed. However, please base your actions on facts.

Do NOT surrender your pets to shelters because of this pandemic. Most shelters were full prior to this. Adoptions are slowing down and some shelters are closed to the public.

If you need assistance in feeding your pet please EMAIL us ([email protected]) or call 904-321-1647. Nassau Humane Society will assist you by providing food or helping you find a food bank in your immediate area.

Please also consider taking time during social distancing and consider opening your home to foster an animal in need.
Nassau Humane Society supports our fosters with all food, crate, preventative and supplies. You just provide space, time and love.

March 13, 2020 — The Nassau Humane Society is continuing normal operations and we have many wonderful pets looking for loving homes.

It’s important to know that, to date, there have not been any cases of dogs or cats becoming sick with the new coronavirus, COVID-19. There is also no evidence of people catching the virus from companion animals. However, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after being around animals.

Our facilities team uses hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the shelter, and high-touch areas are being cleaned daily.

There are hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer throughout the shelter. Any visitors to NHS are encouraged to wash their hands or sanitize between touching animals to prevent the potential spread of any illness.

NHS is asking employees, volunteers and potential visitors who are sick to stay home. We are also reminding employees to practice good hand hygiene, and cover coughs and sneezes. We are not prohibiting volunteers from coming to the shelter, but we understand if volunteers feel it is in their best health interest to avoid the shelter now that social distancing has been recommended.

Future NHS adoption events will be evaluated based on current recommendations by the CDC and health officials.

We have plans in place to make sure NHS animals are cared for in the event of an emergency.

NHS encourages all pet owners to have an emergency plan in place for their pets. Make sure pets are wearing proper identification; have crates and extra food or supplies on hand; and identify a trusted family member, friend or pet sitter who can care for your pet if you become ill or are hospitalized.

The NHS Dog Park is currently open. We are implementing the same cleaning protocols and have installed extra sanitizing stations. We ask guests who may have traveled recently or are not feeling well to please avoid coming to the dog park, for everyone’s safety and well-being. We ask that our patrons only enter the office when necessary — please use your key card on the gate. Please keep a reasonable distance from others in the park, and try not to shake hands or hug. Please wash your hands often — we have hand sanitizer in the park and out front.

Our Second Chance and Closet stores are taking steps to assure the stores are as clean and safe as possible. Hand sanitizers are available for our staff, volunteers and customers.

Please check back at this website or our NHS Facebook page for updates. Thank you!