June 15, 2020

Beginning this Wednesday, June 17, HSHV and our Tiny Lions lounge and adoption Center cat café will reopen for limited public visitation.

Our main animal care facility will be open for pet adoptions 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Animals available for adoption can be seen at HSHV.org/adopt, and interested folks can call 734-662-5585 with questions. Tiny Lions lounge and adoption Center (5245 Jackson Road) will be open for kitten visitation 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, and folks are encouraged to make reservations at TinyLions.org.

We take the health and safety of our human visitors, employees and volunteers very seriously. Fortunately, our state-of-the-art facility includes advancements designed to reduce zoonotic contagion between animals and people– and also helps reduce disease spread among people. But beyond that and our rigorous cleaning and sanitation practices, we are also limiting the number of people in buildings, facilitating social distancing, and wearing facial coverings. Masks, as worn by staff, will be given to visitors who do not have one, and hand sanitizer is readily available. Before visiting, please review our visitor guidelines and other safety measures at HSHV.org/visitor.

We deeply appreciate how kind and patient you’ve been and are so grateful to be able to phase up our services! The animals and we look forward to seeing you!

June 4, 2020

Thank you so much for supporting HSHV!  We’re ecstatic that we will be seeing more of you soon!  As the Stay Home order lifts and we scale up our operations, please remember to check our website for specific details around Adoptions, Intakes, Vet Clinic, Tiny Lions Adoption Center and other services.  Or call (734) 662-5585.  Many services are still by appointment only.

We’ve made many changes to adhere to the CDC, state and local guidelines.  Our goal is to provide outstanding services while keeping you, other visitors, staff, volunteers and, of course, all furry friends safe.  We are very grateful for your patience and help!


When visiting HSHV please…

·       Wear a mask.  Let us know if you don’t have one and we’re be happy to provide.

  (If you can’t wear a mask due to a qualified medical condition, please call us to make an after- or before-hours appointment when safe social distancing can be maintained. Appointments available only to those who meet the CDC guidelines.)

·       Follow social distancing by keeping 6 feet or more away from anyone not in your own party.

·       Use the hand sanitizers (or sinks) available throughout the building frequently.

·       Stay home when you’re sick (or have been in close contact with someone sick). We promise we’ll be here when you’re feeling better!




June 2, 2020

In these times of uncertainty, we’ve  been busy planning a safe and enjoyable camp season. The safety of everyone is a top priority and we’ve implemented many new procedures within our camp program to help keep everyone safe. HSHV is following all CDC and public health recommendations. If you’re child(ren) is registered for camp, please read the following organizational and program-specific measures we’re taking to stop disease spread and complete the Camp Paws Survey by June 6th.


May 21, 2020

We’ve received many inquiries about pets and Covid-19.  Please refer to this reference guide if you have questions about testing your pet for Covid-19.


May 12, 2020

It’s an uncertain time for all of us, including our furry friends. Companion animals may be confused or stressed about disruptions in routine and schedule.  HSHV Behavior Specialists wrote the following articles to help your dog or cat adapt to changes during the COVID-19 crisis.


Cat enrichment during times of change or stress

Dogs and Masks

Returning to work? How to prepare your dog


April 30, 2020

The Ann Arbor Observer featured HSHV in their May edition. Read about HSHV’s response to the COVID-19 crisis here.


April 24, 2020

Recently we learned that two cats in New York tested positive for COVID-19.  But there is no need to panic.  Experts still believe that our pets are not a risk to people and so far there have been very few reports of animals testing positive.  Of those confirmed, there have been no or just mild symptoms of illness.

Health experts say our focus needs to be on reducing human-to-human transmission.   But, until we know more, it is still recommended that people who test positive or are sick isolate from their pets like the rest of the family when possible.  When not possible, use handwashing and face masks.  Those not sick should include their pets in social distancing when outside the home.  You can walk your dog, but dog parks or play dates with neighborhood doggie friends should be avoided.  And keep those indoor/outdoor kitties inside.   Our animals provide us love and comfort and they need us to take care of them.

Please see here if you need emergency help with housing a pet or free pet food assistance.  If your animal is sick our dedicated veterinary clinic staff are still providing critical care. Call (734) 662-4365 for a car-side appointment.


April 23, 2020

We are still able to safely accept in-kind donations at the shelter. Items can be dropped off in the blue donation bin just inside our front door anytime between 9am and 6pm, 7 days a week.

The items we always need are blankets, towels or beds that can be laundered in a standard washing machine (no hand towels, please), pet food in the original packaging, scoopable cat litter, canned dog food, waterless pet shampoo, yards of fleece for animal projects, disposable aluminum roaster pans (20 x 12, 8 x 8 shallow, cake pans), and Liquid Vick’s Solution (for steam vaporizers).

More items to donate can be found on the Wishlist page of our website and on our Amazon wishlist.

Thank you for your support. Please know that your generosity helps HSHV to continue to be here for the most vulnerable animals in our community.


March 27, 2020

Our hearts go out to all the people suffering and struggling right now.

Our animals are such an important part of our families. They help keep us sane and healthy, especially now with so much stress and social isolation. More than ever we need our furry family members for comfort and company.

In this time of turmoil and uncertainty, there are many things we can’t do, but many things we can. We can help prevent animals from going hungry and give support to the people who love and need them.

HSHV is responding to increased emergency food needs through our Bountiful Bowls pet food pantry and making special deliveries to those who can’t leave home. If you need our help in Washtenaw County, please go to www.hshv.org/bountifulbowls.

If you, family or friends need help feeding a companion animal in other parts of Michigan, here’s a map of pet food banks throughout the state.


March 24, 2020

Like many other animal shelters in Michigan, we’re offering limited essential services and following (or exceeding) all official recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19.  ALL SERVICES REQUIRE AN APPOINTMENT. Please call the numbers below for more information or to schedule.

Contact Adoptions at 734-662-5585.  Only serious adopters please!

Contact our Veterinary Clinic at 734-662-4365 if your companion animal needs essential or critical medical treatment.

Contact Intake at 734-661-3528 for urgent and stray animal intakes.  We ask that those who need to surrender their pets to HSHV be mindful of their level of need right now.

Our Tiny Lions Lounge and Adoption Center will be closed until further notice.  We’re caring for all remaining Tiny Lion kitties at HSHV.

We know many are suffering and may need extra help taking care of their animals. We’re here to help! Please visit www.hshv.org/covid19 for more information.

Thanks to all of YOU, our animal-loving friends, for your support and patience as we provide the best possible care to those animals and humans who need us.


March 23, 2020

We are deeply committed to our animals, our animal loving community and the many vulnerable families in our community and want everyone to stay safe.

Governor Whitmer recently issued a stay-at-home order for all Michigan residents that includes provisions for the continued care of animals in need.

Specifically, the order excludes workers “whose in-person presence is strictly necessary to allow the business or operation to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals…”

It also classifies pets as household members and allows individuals to leave the home for their care.

We know you care deeply about animals, and as the only animal shelter in Washtenaw County, you can rest assured knowing that HSHV will continue to be here for the most vulnerable.

As a reminder, HSHV is providing very limited services to the public and has significantly altered protocols in compliance all official recommendations to stop the spread of Covid-19.   We will continue to adapt as necessary to protect public health and the animals that need us most.

We are still taking in and taking care of homeless and abused animals and doing limited adoptions.  We are still providing critical veterinary care through our Veterinary Clinic.

We are also working on options for online learning and events.  More to come.  We will  continue providing updated details through email, social media, and on https://www.hshv.org/coronavirus-pets-and-events-at-hshv/.

Thank you to everyone for your expressions of love and support!  You allow us to continue to provide life-saving care!

Stay tuned and please take care of yourselves and your furry and non-furry loved ones.


March 20, 2020

HSHV is as committed as ever to helping animals find homes and stay healthy. We are also committed to doing everything we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To this end, starting today, we’re using a curbside check-in system for both adoptions and pet surgery appointments.

If you are coming to adopt, welcome and thank you! Please stop at our check-in desk located outside the adoptions area. (Please refrain from coming to the adoptions center unless you are serious about adoption; don’t worry– we are making sure the homeless animals get plenty of TLC through all of this!).

If you are coming for a surgery appointment, please bring your vaccination records (it’s difficult to confirm with other clinics at this time), and leave your animal in the car while you briefly visit our check-in desk, located in front of our adoptions/vet clinic where we’ll explain next steps.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and support as we work to provide the best possible care for you and the animals!


March 18, 2020

Our pets are so important to our families, health and wellness.  While HSHV has cancelled or postponed all group activities, we remain open for the most critical needs of our beloved animals.   

As the only animal shelter in Washtenaw County, we must be here for our community’s vulnerable animals and pet owners. We must continue to take in the neediest and get them into loving homes. Rest assured we are being very cautious and complying with/exceeding all official recommendations, including social distancing, disinfection of hands and common areas, and ceasing all non-urgent services, activities and events. But closing our doors at this time is simply not an option.

Further, no one knows how long the pandemic will last, and animal homelessness and cruelty wasn’t on the decline. Now, economic downturns will hurt both people and animals more. Allowing animals to run stray, go unsterilized and unvaccinated would create new public health and safety concerns. HSHV has always been a critical part of public health and safety.

HSHV actually has 300 extra animals in our care right now due to the recent seizure at a local pet store and the pending animal cruelty charges against them. Like so many others, we are in a tough position. We are facing workforce shortages and supply chain issues like everyone else. But as long as we are standing, we will be here for the animals who need us most.

Working from home is simply not an option for front-line animal welfare and veterinary care workers. And we rely heavily on our volunteers to provide loving care. The national directive for all animal shelters is to stem the homeless and abused animal population by moving them into permanent homes. We also need to prepare for a possible increase in homelessness or temporary shelter needs.

We ask that the public help by:

  • We ask that only serious adopters visit HSHV and Tiny Lions. HSHV has systems in place to manage visits in the interest of public health.
  • We are limiting veterinary clinic services to essential and critical care.
  • We ask those who need to surrender their pets to HSHV to be mindful of their level of need right now.
  • We know many are suffering and may need extra help taking care of their animals. HSHV has a free pet food pantry, Bountiful Bowlsph. 734-661-3552. If you can’t leave your home and cannot afford to purchase food online, please contact kariem@hshv.org.
  • We also have a temporary Harbor program for pets whose owners are hospitalized and are without other resources, ph. 734-661-3552.
  • If you believe an animal has been abandoned, please call HSHV’s Animal Cruelty and Emergency Rescue hotline at 734-661-3512.

We don’t want animals needlessly suffering with injuries or illness or left in bad situations. Please do not abandon your animals or allow them to go hungry. We are here to help.

Remember, there is currently no evidence that our companion animals can contract or transmit COVID-19. The best place for pets is home with you.  Please include your pets in your emergency preparedness plan–most notably, a two-week supply of pet food/supplies, crates and leashes, identification in the form of tags and updated microchips, and friends and family identified who can take care of your animals should you become sick or hospitalized. See here for more.

Tanya Hilgendorf

P.S.  Bored at home?  Check out our online behavior and training library.  Now might be a good time to teach your dog or cat some new tricks.


March 12, 2020

A note from HSHV’s President and CEO:

I wanted to offer an update in light of the recent news on COVID-19 as it relates to HSHV, our animals and our animal-loving community.

First, please know that no matter what, HSHV is deeply committed to the protection and care of the animals who need us, and the safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff.

As the only animal shelter in Washtenaw County we cannot cease operations. We have to be here for the animals who need us, and we must be able to get animals adopted into loving homes so that we have room for more in need. Our veterinary clinic and other important programs and services will also continue until further notice.

HSHV is also a critical part of emergency preparedness in our community. Currently, the CDC is asking those quarantined to distance themselves from their companion animals, and we will be prepared as best we can for any resulting increase in homeless animals. Please know: there is currently no evidence that our pets can contract or transmit COVID-19. Our animals need our love and care during crisis situations. 

Please also remember to include your animals in your emergency preparedness plan

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and may cancel or reconfigure larger events that require close contact between participants.  Please look for updates on events and activities through email, social media and the events page on our website: hshv.org/events.

Fortunately, HSHV is already very well-acquainted with good sanitation practices (preventing the spread of contagious disease is one of the most important jobs of an animal shelter) and will continue to be extra diligent about sanitizing surfaces in common areas. There are hand sanitizers and sinks throughout our facility. Those who are sick are asked to stay home following CDC recommendations.

For now, standard activities will continue with some modifications that allow for more social distance. Thank you for patience with any temporary changes in protocol.

We know this is a stressful time with information still unfolding. We will stay abreast of the latest information from health experts and follow public health recommendations.

Let us remain calm but mindful.  And, let us be kind and take care of each other, including our beloved furry companions.  The animals still need us and you. 

Please take care,

Tanya Hilgendorf