ADOPTION CENTER: 941-747-8808 X 313

COVID-19 Updates

coronavirus/covid-19 udpates from hsmc for manatee county

Monday April 20, 2020

HSMC Emergency Management Plan – COVID 19 Status Update –  *1330 Hours * Executive Director, Rick Yocum

The Humane Society of Manatee County veterinary clinic continues to operate at 60% capacity as per plan and the Second Chance Adoption Center continues to operate at 50% capacity also according to plan. The veterinary clinic which is open to the public by appointment remains open six (6) days a week, Monday – Saturday from 8am – 5pm and our Second Chance Adoption Center is open by appointment for adoptions and Pet Food Pantry food distribution Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm. Check in at both clinic and shelter continues to be done outside in the parking lots and strict social distancing policies and procedures are followed to keep our staff, volunteers, the community and the animals safe.

The current physical shelter population at HSMC Second Chance Adoption Center is limited to 14 Dogs and 11 cats with 13 dogs in foster homes and 38 cats in foster homes. Thank you to all who volunteered to foster our shelter animals during a very challenging time. Several of the cats and dogs being fostered decided to adopt their foster families and are now staying in their new homes. Adoptions are up significantly in 2020 with 215 adoptions happening VS 175 same time period 2019. Pet Food Pantry requests are at an all time high and all requests are being fulfilled by appointment thanks to our generous community donating much need dog and cat food. Our HSMC Board of Directors have been doing food collection drives for the past several weeks as well.

Working with my Senior Staff and Senior Medical Team our HSMC Business Recovery Plan was completed on April 9th and in the next ten (10) days a decision will be made on what date the plan will be put into action. The plan calls for a gradual increase in shelter and clinic appointments of about 5% each week for 6 – 8 weeks until we are back operating at 100% capacity. There will be no major change in our safety protocols and procedures for at least four weeks, with the exception of moving check in back into our buildings and only allowing one client to enter at a time. The primary focus of our Business Recovery Plan will be the safety of staff, community, volunteers and the animals. We are all learning together as we move forward in uncertain times.

While there seems to be no shortage of “overnight medical experts” online and on TV, I am committed to continue making decisions based on the facts and guidance we continue to receive from the CDC, Florida State Health Department, American Veterinary Medical Association, Florida Veterinary Medical Association and our local Manatee County Department of Health. HSMC Business Recovery Plan is open ended, and we will conservatively make changes and adjustments when appropriate and safe, with no set schedule to get back to operating at 100%. I closely monitor the statewide and local COVID 19 statistics every day (2X a day) to stay aware of local trends and activity and make changes to our protocols as needed.

Our shelter and clinic have both remained fully staffed throughout March and April to date and we are committed to remain fully staffed with every expectation of increasing staffing when we are back operating at 100%.

Thank you community for your continued patience, understanding and support as we all work together on behalf our community’s animals. Please continue practicing social distancing and stay safe, if you can, give and if you need, ask.

Be Smart —Stay Apart.

Friday April 10, 2020 2040 Hours

Thanks to our community and supporters the Humane Society of Manatee County continues to be here providing the sheltering needs, providing the veterinary services our community’s animals need and deserve and operating our Pet Food Pantry.

Our veterinary clinic remains open to the public by appointment six days a week 8am – 5:00pm and is operating at 60% capacity to allow for adherence to all recommended guidelines for safety and health of our staff, our community, the animals and our volunteers. Check in continues to be done outside of our clinic main entrance for the safety of all. All updated COVID 19 recommendations from the CDC, AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and FVMA (Florida Veterinary Medical Association) are reviewed and added to our HSMC COVID 19 Policies and procedures.

New guidelines for handling animals that have been exposed to positive or potential COVID 19 exposed humans are now part of our Emergency Plan. Our phones are busy so why not email the clinic at clinic@humanesocietymanatee.org

Also current clinic clients can buy Pet Meds online at humanemanatee.org and get FREE shipping. Our Second Chance Adoption Center and Pet Food Pantry also remain open to the public by appointment only Wednesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm. Check in for adoptions, owner surrenders and Pet Food Pantry is also done outside of the shelter building for everyone’s safety.

Our shelter is operating at 50% capacity and our current animal population is 16 Dogs and 8 Cats with 9 dogs in foster homes and 16 cats in foster homes. We have had several foster failures which resulted in adoptions. We also just had a 13 year old cat, Meli adopted from a sleepover experience. Our phone are a little BUSY so email our Second Chance Adoption Center at adoptions@humanesocietymanatee.org Humane Society of Manatee County is committed to being here for our community’s animals and also committed to keeping our clinic and shelter fully staffed by the most amazingly dedicated staff anywhere in Florida.

This morning I joined 11 other animal welfare leaders in Manatee and Sarasota Counties on an online meeting to discuss each of our operations and how all of the organizations can continue to work together on behalf of the animals in our communities. The collaboration that exists amongst our animal welfare organizations here in our community is truly amazing.

Thank you community for your continued cooperation, patience and love for the animals. Rick Yocum Executive Director Humane Society of Manatee County. Email us at info@humanesocietymanatee.org

Tuesday, April 7

Community: COVID 19 and Companion Animals Update

Sharing information released by the Florida Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“The Veterinary Medical Associations have been receiving questions about how to handle various situations relating to COVID 19. This question has become more pressing as two dogs (Hong Kong), and two cats (Hong Kong and Belgium) and, now a tiger (Bronx Zoo in New York) have tested positive for COVID 19.”

According to the AVMA: “It appears that dogs and cats are not readily infected with SARS-CoV-2, we have little to no evidence that they become ill, and no evidence that those that may be naturally infected spread SARS-CoV-2 to other pets or people”

Current standard operating procedures at HSMC are designed with an over abundance of safety at all times.

When scheduling appointments HSMC staff are asking clients if their pet has been exposed to a known or suspected COVID 19 case. Staff who handle all animals continue to be diligent with standard infection control practices. All animals that enter our clinic are isolated and kept away from any other animals present. All equipment and exam areas are cleaned and disinfected after each visit.

You can get further updates and information at FVMA.org

Stay calm read the facts from reputable sources………. Be Smart – Stay Apart

March 30, 2020

Community: One of the key goals in our COVID 19 Business Continuation and Emergency Management Plan was to properly manage our shelter animal population so that operating at a 50% capacity could be maintained and staffed. Our incredible shelter staff achieved this goal by continuing adoptions, placing animals in temporary foster homes (thank you community) and limiting intakes to owner surrenders. Our current shelter animal population is at 15 dogs and 11 cats with 6 dogs and 16 cats all safely in foster homes. By limiting our animal population it reduces the stress on animals and our human staff and allows for all of our safety and health related protocols to be followed to protect our animals, staff, volunteers and you the community. As always, our ability to accomplish our mission based goals is because of you our community. Thank you all for helping HSMC save lives four paws at a time. All reports back from our fosters are good, animals helping people through a challenging time is one great reason to foster. Our fosters are spending quality time caring for our shelter animals and the socialization for our shelter animals is priceless. Please continue to stay safe and healthy. Make a difference – Keep Your Distance.

March 26, 2020

Community Update COVID 19 Emergency Management Humane Society of Manatee County. Release date 03/26 2020 2100 Hours – Rick Yocum, Executive Director

To All: The Humane Society of Manatee County continues to operate serving the animals and their human families during this most challenging of times. Two and one half weeks our HSMC Emergency Management Plan was activated and this plan has been assessed and updated every day since after daily meetings with my Senior Medical Team and Senior Administrative Team. Our Second Chance Adoption Center is operating at 50% capacity thanks to increased adoptions, intakes limited to owner surrenders and increased foster homes for animals. Our Adoption Center is open Tuesday – Saturday 11am -4pm and these limited hours allow time for increased sanitizing and cleaning. Shelter staff check in is outside the shelter entrance and only one client enters the shelter at a time and social distancing is required. Our shelter staff has done an amazing job on behalf of our shelter animals. The HSMC Pet Food Pantry is available to those in our community who need cat or dog food temporarily in these most difficult of times and information on how to access the Pet Food Pantry can be found on our website at www.humanemanatee.org

Our veterinary clinic is operating at about 60% capacity to allow for all safety and social distancing protocols to be followed. Clinic client check in is done outside clinic main entrance and only one client enters the clinic lobby at a time. No pet owners are permitted in our wellness exam rooms as animals are examined as the room size does not allow for 6′ distancing. Our clinic medical team are meeting pet owners in our parking lot to process intake.

Our veterinary services are essential to maintaining a healthy pet population which in turn provides a healthy human population. The community has been amazingly understanding of the new protocols and procedures. The HSMC staff at our shelter and clinic have stepped up against all challenges and surpassed all of my expectations. I am so proud of the dedication to the animals of our community by my staff and volunteers. (THANK YOU STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS)

Thank you to our amazing community for all of your support during this most difficult time and our only ask of you is that you stay safe and healthy. Make a difference and create some distance. We are only able to do what we do because of you.

Thank you to our amazing staff, volunteers, our community and supportive HSMC Board of Directors for helping to continue to save lives four paws at a time.

If you have questions or concerns or would like to help please feel free to contact me personally at rick@humanesocietymanatee.org

March 24, 2020

Community : Thank you all for your continued support and understanding as we all work through this COVID 19 virus issue. The Humane Society of Manatee County will continue to provide the services our communities’ animals need as long as we can with your support and understanding. This update is as of Monday, March 23rd.

Thank you to our amazing staff, volunteers,and community for working together to save lives four paws at a time during a most difficult time. 


The shelter remains open to the public with strict social distancing protocols and procedures so owner surrenders can be processed and limited adoptions are taking place. We are managing our shelter animal population by limiting intake of owner surrenders, temporarily not transferring in any animals from other shelters, continuing to adopt out current animals and placing animals in temporary foster homes with a goal of a 50% reduction so it is manageable under the CDC guidelines and with potential staffing issues. 

Our limited hours at the Second Chance Adoption Center are Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm which allows staff and volunteers the additional time needed for aggressive cleaning and sanitizing.


Our veterinary clinic remains open to the public as well with no change in days or hours but with a 30% reduction in wellness and surgical appointments so that all social distancing and CDC guidelines are possible to follow. Clinic check-in continues to be done outside in the parking lot at the entrance to clinic and clinic clients are escorted into clinic one at a time. Only one family member is allowed to enter with the animal for check-in. 

The TNR (Feral Cat) spay and neuter program is suspended for thirty (30) days and that decision was made after speaking with the TNR trappers who were in agreement. Injured or ill ferals (Community cats) will continue to be accepted for treatment. 

In the rare euthanasia cases, family members (up to six (6) are allowed into the clinic community room at one time to be with their beloved pet during this most difficult time for families.

My thanks to our amazing and dedicated HSMC staff, dedicated volunteers, our community and the HSMC Board of Directors for their continued support of our community’s animals. I meet daily with our HSMC Senior Medical Team and Senior Administrative Team to ensure that our protocols and procedures are updated to comply with CDC guidelines and the ever changing climate of the COVID 19 Virus. Providing the needed services for our community’s animals AND keeping staff, volunteers and the community safe and healthy is our absolute goal

March 20, 2020

Community: These are difficult and trying times for our community, state and country and we truly hope you all stay safe and healthy. Humane Society of Manatee County is here for our community’s animals during this most difficult of times. Our Second Chance Adoption Center remains open Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 4pm and our Veterinary Clinic is open Monday – Saturday 8am – 5pm (4:30pm Saturday) although we have many safety protocols in place currently. We are restricting the number of visitors to our shelter following the CDC recommendations for social distancing and have new outside check-in procedures at our veterinary clinic. Please understand that these new protocols are in place to protect the health and safety of you, our volunteers and our staff. We take our role in the community very seriously in providing our services for the animals in Manatee (and surrounding counties) and are doing everything we can to be here for you and your animal family. We appreciate the amazing support we get from our community and will continue to be here for you moving forward. Please be patient as we move through unchartered waters with the COVID 19 virus and the issues we are all learning to deal with. Your animal family members are our priority and we will continue to do all that we can to provide you with the services you need. I could not be prouder of my staff for their unwavering dedication to the animals in our community through this most difficult of times. The Humane Society of Manatee County Board of Directors is committed to supporting our staff, our volunteers, our shelter animals and our community in this difficult time. Thank you also to our amazing community for your understanding and continued support. On behalf of our shelter animals & community’s animals, thank you! Rick Yocum Executive Director Humane Society of Manatee County

An internal tracking form has been created to properly document all sick days / PTO days for next 30 days. We will also be following legislation closely to see what reimbursements we might be entitled to for paid sick time.

Rick Yocum
Executive Director
Humane Society of Manatee County

March 13, 2020

The health and safety of our pets and the community is our top priority. According to the World Health Organization, there is ‘no evidence that companion animals have been infected or could spread coronavirus (COVID-19).’ Our concern at this time is that if we did have to limit shelter hours due to staffing levels, we would not be able to stop taking animals in, which would result in overcrowding. However, we cannot keep from taking in animals that need us. Because of this, we are asking the community to sign up to become temporary foster parents if the need arises. If you’re interested in fostering a pet, email us at fosters@humanesocietymanatee.org or fill out our application online here https://www.humanemanatee.org/shelter/become-a-foster The public can also help pets in the shelter by volunteering. Caring for animals does not stop, even if we have to limit shelter hours that we are open to the public during this time. Walking dogs, cleaning kennels and feeding, will still have to happen. Please email us about volunteering at volunteer@humanesocietymanatee.org or fill out our application online here https://www.humanemanatee.org/become-a-volunteer
Thank you so much for your support. <3 ????

Effective April 3, visits to the Adoption Center  are available by appointment only.

Please call 941-747-8808 x 313 or email adoptions@humanesocietymanatee.org to schedule.

COVID-19 Updates from HSMC

A partir del 3 de abril es obligatorio solicitar una cita antes de visitar el Centro de Adopciones.

Llame al 941-747-8808 ext. 313 o envíe un correo electrónico a adoptions@humanesocietymanatee.org para programar una cita.

Información actualizada sobre la COVID-19 de la HSMC.