Animal shelter asking for homemade gowns after donating medical supplies
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Murray, UT (Apr. 22, 2020) — The Utah Humane Society is asking volunteers to sew reusable gowns to protect shelter workers
The Utah Humane Society is asking the public for help to replace gowns needed to handle animals safely. Volunteers are asked to follow an amended pattern to sew gowns that can be washed and reused to replace disposable gowns that were ordered previously. The private nonprofit made a donation of most of its gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) on Monday, Mar. 30 for the Utah Department of Health to distribute to front-line medical personnel treating patients with COVID-19.
On March 25, 2020, pet spay and neuter surgeries were suspended in response to Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s executive order stating that health care facilities, including veterinary clinics, must postpone all elective surgeries and procedures to preserve PPE needed by doctors and nurses. The Utah Humane Society clinic kept some PPE to handle animal emergencies, but animal care workers require gowns and gloves to reduce the transmission of other common diseases between animals in the shelter on a daily basis.
“We made the decision to donate all of our personal protection equipment to the front-line hospital workers, which left us without the protection that we normally use when dealing with the animals,” said Tony Thacker, Utah Humane Society animal care manager. “We are making a call to the public, to anyone who knows how to sew, to sew some reusable gowns for us that we can wash and reuse and keep everybody safe.”
Sewing directions and a gown example are posted on the organization’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UtahHumane/videos/2262265607414583/. The shelter said it would like to add thumb holes on the sleeves to facilitate placing gloves over the top and ties at the neck and back instead of Velcro closures. “We aren’t concerned with patterns or looks, just function,” said Thacker.
“We’ve always had great practices here in keeping things disinfected and clean, but now, more than ever, it’s incredibly important,” said Thacker. “We can use up to 30 or 40 gowns per transfer ... we change between each animal, so there’s potential to save several hundred dollars every single month by going to a reusable, washable gown.”
To offset the cost of the PPE donated by the Utah Humane Society to support local health care and hospitals, Drs. David and Laurel Fedor made a generous gift to the organization.
Donated gowns may be dropped off outside of the Utah Humane Society in their north employee parking lot by the large white storage container Monday through Sunday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Monetary donations may be made at UtahHumane.org/donate.