Monday, the Rexburg Animal Shelter once again opened its doors for public walk-ins after a year of holding visitations by appointment only due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re super excited to get the doors back open and give people the opportunity to come in and see what we’ve got,” said Rexburg Police Department Animal Control Officer Scott Chapman. “It’s good for the animals as well for their socialization.”
Chapman said the shelter had to turn down people nearly every day that were hoping to come in and see the animals because the shelter was operating on appointments only.
“We’re hoping that didn’t turn people away from the shelter,” he said.
The shelter has a no-touch policy, to prevent people from potentially passing on illness to one of the shelter’s animals, Chapman said. Individuals interested in adopting a specific animal may interact and pet the animal by setting up a meet and greet.
In February, the shelter reopened its volunteer program, allowing interested people to help the shelter care for its animals. Chapman said the program has been outstanding and has helped shelter staff greatly. Typically, the shelter accepts eight to 10 volunteers.
“We’ve got a list of volunteers we’re trying to get in contact with and it’s quite a big list. It’s taken us a while to get through it,” Chapman said.
He added that the shelter has a good ratio for the population of cats and dogs compared to the workload for staff and volunteers and space that the shelter has. The shelter works with other rescues to see if some animals can be moved if the shelter starts getting overcrowded.
“We’ve got a perfect amount in here right now,” Chapman said.
The shelter is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is located at 490 West Fourth North.