THE Dogs Trust in Ballymena is closing to members of the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement the Trust said: ‘Over the past few weeks, we have been closely monitoring the Government’s advice regarding Coronavirus, and working towards a plan of action that will allow us to continue the essential care for all of the dogs in our centres.
‘Rehoming to change to appointment only system from Saturday 21st March. In light of the most recent guidelines, and to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and visitors, at 5pm on Friday 20th March, our rehoming centres will close to walk-in members of the general public.
‘Starting on Saturday 21st March, we will be switching to an appointment based system. Any members of the public looking to rehome a dog will be asked to call and book an appointment through our contact centre.
‘For anyone who is due to take a dog home in the coming days and weeks, we can assure you that this booking will still go ahead, but there may be a slight change to the timings as we try to limit staff and visitor interaction. Please do not come to any of our centres unless you have a pre-booked appointment.
‘Our staff will do everything they can to limit all unnecessary social interaction, and will practise frequent hand washing with soap and sanitiser. We ask that all visitors wash their hands as soon as they arrive for their appointment, and use hand sanitiser during their visit, where available.
‘If you feel unwell or are experiencing any symptoms, or if you or a family member are self–isolating, we ask that you please call so we can work out the next steps for you.
‘Shops – As of Friday 20th March at 5pm, our charity shops will also close. We ask that you please do not leave any pre-loved items for donation at our charity shops or rehoming centres.
‘We look forward to receiving these items when things are back to normal, and we will update our website and social media channels as soon as we can start accepting pre-loved donations again.
‘Dog School and events – In addition to these measures, all Dog School classes are currently suspended, and any public events due to take place have been postponed for the time being.’