Coronavirus Clinic Changes

As the Director of Veterinary Services for Woods Humane Society I would like to share with you the reasons behind our very difficult decision to suspend the vital spay/neuter services we offer our community. After much conversation and deliberation with fellow veterinary professionals and shelter colleagues across the country, the leadership team at Woods Humane Society has decided to abide by current operational standards set forth by our local and national governing bodies. This is an unprecedented time when we must look beyond ourselves as individuals and individual businesses and grasp the reality of the global implications of the pandemic we are living through. 

The U.S. Surgeon General made a recommendation to limit “elective” surgical procedures.  Veterinary medicine is part of the overall health care umbrella we have in the United States and is a significant component of our workload at Woods Humane Society. All health care professionals, including veterinarians, need to adopt strategies that will allow them to conserve PPE (personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks) as much as possible. The American Veterinary Medical Association recently stated that veterinary practices can and should defer elective procedures in order to preserve medical supplies and ensure that necessary and urgent care can be provided to the patients who need it most. For these recommendations a non-emergency surgical procedure is one that is not urgently required to maintain the health of the patient. Most spays and neuters are non-emergency procedures.

Conservation of PPE is not the only reason to defer non-emergency surgeries. Either currently or in the next several weeks it is expected that veterinary hospitals and animal shelters will experience:

  • Reduced staffing as staff become ill or need to quarantine
  • Continued need for veterinary care for animals with reduced veterinary capacity
  • Scarcity of medical equipment and supplies
  • Need to limit contact between people to reduce human exposure

Given the current pandemic, in an effort to reduce resource use, workload, and the potential for human exposure, veterinary clinics and animal shelters should make decisions about which spay-neuter surgeries and other procedures are non-emergency procedures and discontinue those that could be deferred. 

While the dedicated staff, volunteers and Board members at Woods Humane Society live, breathe, support, promote, urge, champion and fervently believe in the importance of providing accessible and affordable high quality spay and neuter services to our community, we are making the responsible decision to suspend them at this time. We have every intention of resuming this service, which is a core mission of Woods, as soon as possible.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this trying time.


Leslie Sklena, DVM

Director of Veterinary Services

Woods Humane Society



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