Why Our Shelter Is Closed…COVID-19 Response

El Paso Animal Services facilities have been closed to the public since March 19 as part of the City of El Paso’s efforts to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Despite the facility closure, the department continues to provide essential services, but it has resulted in several operational changes, which are focused on preventing community gathering, promoting social distancing, and adhering to the countywide “Stay Home, Work Safe Order.” This order was issued by the local Health Authority who is leading our region’s efforts to protect the health and safety of our community. The order calls for the public to remain at home, and only allows for essential services to continue if they follow certain health and safety measures.

El Paso Animal Services has been innovative in how it is responding to this pandemic by changing its operations to still provide essential services to serve those most in need during this worldwide crisis. For example, Animal Protection Officers are still responding to high-priority calls. This includes: EPPD/EPFD assistance calls, sick and/or injured animals, cruelty, neglect, rabies, quarantine/bite investigations, traffic hazards, and aggressive/vicious animals. To make a report on these items, please call 311 and provide clear, concise and DETAILED information on the animal’s health and behavior. To minimize interaction with the public, healthy and friendly strays/lost pets are NOT being admitted into the shelter. Instead, Animal Services is encouraging the community to help reconnect these lost pets, and many have already been successful in locating these pet’s families without needing Animal Services’ assistance. (click for tips) Once again, our goal during this health emergency is to serve those who need us most.

Again, if you see an animal in danger, or see an animal being a danger to residents in our community, please call 311. These are the animals that need us during these difficult circumstances and these are the high-priority calls that we will continue to respond to during our public closure.

It is important to understand that by closing our facilities, Animal Services is preventing community gatherings and disease spread. While the facility closures may be an inconvenience to some, we ask that the community support its homeless pets during these challenging times. Animal Services would like to thank the hundreds of families who have already helped. In the past several weeks, more than 600 animals have been fostered, adopted, or reclaimed by their owner. The department has taken unique measures to alter its operations to continue to serve the animals already in our care. For example, the services mentioned above are still being provided but through different processes that adhere to the local health order and other national animal welfare/sheltering emergency plans—allowing us to provide contactless delivery to keep our staff and community safe.

Community involvement has been a major catalyst for Animal Services’ success. And the community will once again be a major factor in our efforts to keep our pets and our region safe.

Pet Reclaim Line: (915) 212-8741
Adoption Line: (915) 212-8705
Foster Line (915) 212-8732
Pet Food Bank: (915) 212-8735

For more updates on department changes, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.


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