CANASTOTA — Wanderers’ Rest Human Association has been working for the betterment of four-legged friends during the COVID and is working to connect to more people during the pandemic.
Shelter Manager Sabrina Wilcox said when the pandemic first hit, Wanderers’ Rest worked to find fosters for animals at the shelter since the decision was made to only have the shelter open by appointment only.
“This was to reduce the traffic and ensure that we can still get animals out because we were still getting animals in,” Wilcox said. “We didn’t want to overload anyone here at Wanderers’ Rest.”
More than half the animals that went out to foster care have been adopted and Wilcox has been grateful to everyone who stepped up to foster an animal.
With the shelter closed, Wilcox said some decisions were made to make some changes around the Canastota location since traffic is low and the opportunity is there. “We did some fixing and painting but I don’t want to give too much away,” she said. “We’re still in process of improving the shelter and making it a more inviting place.”
Things have changed and are hectic in a different way, Wilcox continued, adding that there were a number of events that had been planned but have been since canceled due to COVID.
One of these events is the Bone Appetit fundraiser, originally slated for May 15. Auctions, raffles, drinks, and Hors d’oeuvres were on the menu for Wanderers’ Rest with all funds going to help animals at the shelter.
In its place, Wilcox said there are plans in place to hold an online auction at the end of June with more information coming out soon.
“It’s also looking like Woofstock won’t be happening this year, unfortunately,” Wilcox said. “We’re really sad about that because that’s been an every year thing.”
Wanderers’ Rest is currently in the process of reaching out more online to the community and holding online fundraising events to help offset the cost of running of the facility.
“Donations have been down because of the pandemic,” Wilcox said. “But we’re working on going down a bunch of avenues we haven’t gone down yet. We’re even thinking of a virtual walk or run. But that’s still in the works.”
One of the other ways Wanderers’ Rest is getting out into the community is through their new series “Tell-A-Tail” — an online Facebook livestream in which Wanderers’ Rest reads animal themed stories to children.
“Schools aren’t open and kids are home and with their parents, so this is a great way they can have some fun,” Wilcox said. “Tell-A-Tail is on Facebook, so anyone can watch it and join in.”
Wanderers’ Rest staff member Elise Richmond-Whitney reads to the children as a character and there are plans to have some guest readers as well.
Should the program get popular, Wilcox said Wanderers’ Rest might expand the readings to every week instead of every other week.
The next Tell-A-Tail was scheduled for today, Tuesday, June 2, with Wanderers’ Rest reading “Bounce.”
On June 16, Wanderers’ Rest will read “Peanuts: Be Kind, Be Brave, Be You.”
On June 30, Wanderers’ Rest will read “101 Dalmatians - Puppy Parade.”
On July 14, Wanderers’ Rest will read “Llama, Llama Red Pajama.”
For more information, visit http://wanderersrest.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/