APL did well in 2020 despite COVID-19

The Animal Protective League is in the midst of improvements funded by CARES Act money.

KINGSVILLE TOWNSHIP — The Ashtabula County APL has plans in place for 2021 after working through issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

APL Executive Director Mary Glauser said in an email that the APL lost 30 percent of its revenue in 2020 due to cancellations of major fundraising events because of the  pandemic.

“We were able to supplement our loss of revenue with grants, donations, and in-kind gifts,” Glauser said in the email. “The community has been very generous!”

The APL had fewer dogs and cats brought into the shelter in 2020, and paired with a slightly lower number of adoptions led to a percentage increase in adoptions, Glauser said.

Because of the pandemic, the shelter transitioned to visits by pre-scheduled appointments in August, which cut down on foot traffic in the building, Glauser said. The reduced traffic cuts down on stress on the animals, she said.

Glauser said the APL will reconfigure the shelter in the coming year to support health and safety guidelines.

The work is in progress, and is expected to be finished in mid-February. It includes the addition of a trailer for socially distant animal meet-and-greets, and installation of a commercial laundry and sanitation equipment in a dedicated space, she said. A pair of large storage areas will be converted into decompression living rooms for dogs.

The work is being paid for by CARES Act funding, Glauser said.

There are plans for a communal cat enclosure, which would utilize some of the newly freed-up space, pending grant funding. The project is expected to cost $2,000, Glauser said. The APL is waiting to hear back on grant requests to fund the project.

“As we enter 2021, the pandemic has not slowed our plans at all,” Glauser said.

The APL is reviewing new programs for rehoming pets due to eviction. Work is also being done on proactively returning lost pets to their owners.

For fundraising, the APL hopes to have a number of virtual runs this spring, and an in-person five-kilometer race in the fall, Glauser said. In previous years, the APL has hosted a 5k in May, at the same time as a number of other shelters, Glauser said.

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