Nonprofits with animals in need of support amid COVID-19 outbreak

NORTHEAST, Wi. (WBAY) - Many businesses and groups have halted while Wisconsin is under a public health emergency. But all the social distancing has had a big impact on nonprofits, particularly those with other living creatures to care for.

"Biggest concern is making sure that we can care for the animals,” said Fox Valley Humane Association Executive Director Vicki Prey.

Nonprofit groups like the Fox Valley Humane Association rely a lot on donations in order to take care of its animals, but that’s now jeopardized because of the current COVID-19 outbreak.

"We anticipate it’s going to get pretty tough with people not working,” said Prey. “And obviously we still need to function here. So financials are a big part of our concerns right now."

Prey says they've made a number of changes to comply with CDC recommendations. That includes shutting their doors to the public, accepting visitors by appointment-only.

"We've had some great success so far with our staff staying healthy and all these measures we've put in place to keep them healthy so they can come in to care for the animals,” said Prey.

Prey says they've also been working to get more animals into foster homes during this time and have gotten more than 50 foster applications.

"Can't help thanking the community enough for coming forward and helping us out with that,” said Prey.

But the humane association is far from the only nonprofit with animals to care for.

"Exceptional Equestrians is facing potentially diminished to even possibly zero income in the coming weeks,” said Exceptional Equestrians Executive Director Lisa Kafka.

Exceptional Equestrians is a horse therapy service for clients with physical, cognitive, or emotional needs. Kafka decided to temporarily close to protect clients and volunteers health.

"Horses still depend on us to be here,” said Kafka. “They need to be fed, they need to be cared for, they need veterinary care and they need to have conditioning on a weekly basis."

She says donations are critical now more than ever.

"So we can open our doors to our special needs clients when this is over,” Kafka.

But both Kafka and Prey know times are tough for everyone right now and simply appreciate whatever support they receive.

"All local businesses and all nonprofits, we are all in the same boat,” said Kafka.

"I just want to thank the community so much for all the support they have shown,” said Prey.

To donate or submit a foster application to the Fox Valley Humane Association visit its website or Facebook page.

To support Exceptional Equestrians you can also visit its website or Facebook page.