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'We've been able to rebuild': Staff brought back, things move to 'new normal' at Utah Humane Society

Posted at 8:51 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 23:28:02-04

MURRAY, Utah — It’s been a difficult year for many Americans.

The COVID-19 pandemic began in March here in Utah, and people have been adjusting ever since.

The Utah Humane Society had to downsize to a point where it could be sustainable for the nonprofit to make it through these uncertain times, according to spokeswoman Deann Shepherd.

Now, about five months later, the nonprofit is finding a new sense of normal.

“Now, we’ve been able to rebuild, bring the staff back, bring a lot of the animals back in,” Shepherd said.

People are once again, with masks on, able to come into the shelter and look at the animals available for adoption. The nonprofit has also been able to bring back staff who were laid off due to COVID-19, as well as open the positions for those who found other employment.

Out-of-state animal transfer services have also started again, which transfer supervisor Spenser Betenson said has been very beneficial — adding that it’s been hard knowing animals have been sitting in shelters in places where adoptions are down.

"Being able to help shelters that do have full kennels, that do have loud shelters, and being able to bring them in here and know that they are getting adopted quickly has been amazing,” she said.

People in Utah have been adopting a lot of dogs throughout the pandemic, which has been a blessing, Betenson said.

“People think that that any dog that comes into a shelter is kind of a broken dog, and I think that narrative needs to be changed because these guys are amazing. They used to be someone’s pet, they just got lost,” she said.

The Humane Society’s clinic is also back up and running.

The shelter needs more people to adopt animals, and Shepherd said volunteers and monetary donations are very helpful.

For more information on how you can help, visit