Animal lover and author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette is quoted as saying: “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.”


It’s true dogs and cats can provide unconditional love to their owners with an abundance of affection after a hard day.


For those of us feeling burned out from months sheltered at home from the coronavirus, the love of a furry friend just might be the cure we need.


This week, the Humane Society for Greater Savannah re-opened its doors to the public, making in-person adoptions available for the first time in two months. The shelter’s manager of operations, Courtney Foor, says pets are a great companion for those who need extra comfort during these uncertain times.


“Now more than ever, pets are providing companionship at home when going out to see friends and family isn't an option,” she shared.


Even before the coronavirus outbreak, Foor says dogs and cats have played an integral function in bettering the health and spirits of their human owners.


“From lowering blood pressure to assisting with emotional and physical disabilities, animals have always played an important part in bettering the lives of their owners,” she added.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that pet owners benefit from a range of health benefits including decreased blood pressure, decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels and a decrease in loneliness and depression.


Pets also get their owners moving, increasing the opportunity for outdoor activities, including long walks outside, the CDC reports, perfect wellness opportunities for those feeling cramped inside during quarantine.


Now that things are slowly opening back up, Savannahians seem ready to add another pet to the family.


During the Humane Society’s first week opening back up to the public, the shelter saw 42 pets adopted from the adoption center, while five pets were adopted by their foster families who cared for them during the shutdown.


“We saw a steady flow of visitors throughout the week and we anticipate the number of visitors steadily increasing as we get closer to summer,” Foor said.


While the Humane Society has re-opened, it still is closely following safety protocols to protect visitors and employees from infection. Humane Society staff have ramped up the level of disinfectants in public areas, while facilitating adoption counseling and meet-and-greets outdoors to preserve social distancing.


Visitors are encouraged to wear face masks and wash their hands before entering the facility. Foor says the shelter is also here to help pet owners, providing pet food for owners in need, while also reopening its shot clinic.


“Now that businesses in Georgia are slowly reopening, we are anticipating more visitors and more pets finding forever homes,” she added.


Those interested in adopting a pet can view available animals online and fill out an application. Adoption candidates then meet with shelter staff to discuss the responsibilities and challenges of owning an animal before being approved.


All of the shelter’s pets are spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, de-wormed and given preventative medications prior to their adoptions.


The Humane Society for Greater Savannah is now open 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The Pet Fix shot clinic is open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, no appointment necessary.


For more information, contact the Humane Society for Greater Savannah at (912) 354-6265 or visit online at www.humanesocietysav.org.


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