COVID-19 Update 6/15/20

June 15th, 2020

Watauga Humane Society Begins Phased Reopening

As North Carolina eases into new phases of reopening, many of you are anxious to know when Watauga Humane Society will be opening their doors again. Currently WHS continues to be closed to the general public, however the organization is continuing to schedule fosters, adoptions, and owner surrenders by appointment. 

Ashlee Yepez, Director of Operations says, “Our focus is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our staff, volunteers, and animals. With this new method of operating, we are able to monitor the number of people in our building, while also providing proper sanitization in between visitors.”

Watauga Humane Society’s Arko Dog Park reopened for members on May 31. The current new hours are 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. A full list of rules and restrictions can be found on the WHS website under “News” 

The Watauga Humane Society Bare Bones Boutique thrift shop has also re-opened Thursday through Saturday from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Masks must be worn while in the shop and the number of customers in the shop will be limited. 

Proceeds from dog park memberships and the thrift shop help support the shelter’s daily operations while the society’s fundraising events are paused.

WHS Treasurer, Monique Eckerd, stated, “While we aren’t able to hold our traditional events, we are still working diligently to bring in much needed funds to continue our mission, we just have to be a little more creative right now. For example, this year’s annual Hound Ears Fashion Show was changed to a, ‘No Show Fashion Show’ by chairperson Brenda Puck. Through Brenda’s hard work and dedication to the animals, over $26,000 was raised. Brenda, other loyal contributors like her, and several estate gifts will enable us to continue the life-saving work for our furry friends in the short term. This is especially important as we all navigate the new normal with in-person fundraising still in question. We invite everyone to be a part of ensuring we remain financially stable with all paws on the ground. No gift is too small.”  

“The community has been very understanding as we adjust to this new, but temporary “normal”. We are navigating uncharted territory like many others. Opening our doors to the general public will be a slow process, and dependent upon our ability to do so safely.” 

With warmer weather finally here, we have started on some much-needed maintenance projects. Our maintenance staff has replaced gravel in some areas that were becoming bare, working on scheduling the resurfacing of our parking lot and is working on some indoor dog kennel areas. None of this would be possible without the help of our generous donors. Caring for animals and maintaining a wonderful facility such as ours takes money, time and a lot of work. We appreciate everyone who helps with all parts of this.

Summer brings in more stray animals as well as the expected increase in kittens and this year is no exception. If you are looking for a new furry family member, this is an excellent time to adopt. If that isn’t possible right now, we have lots of other ways you can help.

If you have some extra time and space, consider fostering a kitten! Fill out the application here!
If you are open to fostering any animal in need, fill out an application here!

There are many ways to contribute to the work of WHS. Details can be found at