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COVID-safe shopping in our stores

We are following government guidance and taking significant steps to make sure our premises are COVID-secure to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and customers.

All of our shops are now open and we very much look forward to welcoming back our amazing customers to help raise funds for the many hundreds of unwanted animals that we care for each year.

Why are some of our shops not open for their usual hours? 

Any reduced opening hours are to allow us to assess the footfall and level of trade in each area as well as to allow the staff to ensure the shop is deep cleaned in-line with government guidance. If you are making a special visit to one of our shops, we would ask that you please call ahead to check opening times and avoid any disappointment.

Are our shops safe to vist and COVID-secure?

Our shops are safe to visit as we are following government guidance to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and customers. We will only be re-opening our shops when it is safe to do so but have put into  place the following measures:

  • Providing hand sanitiser for customers to use on entering and leaving the shop
  • Sneeze / cough guards at each counter
  • Reminding customers of social distancing guidelines to follow
  • Reducing the number of people in the shop at any given time
  • Ensuring staff and volunteers wear PPE, including safety visers, gloves etc
  • Cleaning and disinfecting processes in each shop during and at the end of each day
  • Donated goods are quarantined for at least 72 hours before sorting and selling  ​

Can I be sure that at goods purchased are COVID-free

All goods sold are as safe as possible. We have put into place processes to avoid the transmission of the virus. All donated goods are quarantined for at least 72 hours prior to sorting or selling as the government guidance advises that the virus will not survive longer than this quarantine period.

What can I donate to Animals in Distress?

We are taking in donated items (clothing, bric-a-brac, electricals etc) at all of our shops once the shops have re-opened. We respectfully ask that you only donate good quality items that are not damaged or soiled, are fully-functioning and are in good working order.

Please do not donate items that you would not consider buying yourself as we simply cannot sell these items and they add to our waste disposal costs. Pre-COVID, we were able to generate income for poor quality clothing or fabric through recycling merchants, however, this is far from certain, during these unprecedented times. Please recycle via your bin collection or at recycling points.

Please do not leave donated items outside any of our shops when the shop is closed. When the shops are open, we will gladly take in your donated items and quarantine them before selling. We value your donations, so thank you for thinking our our Charity and for helping the animals.

 Do I need to know anything else before visiting an Animals in Distress shop?

  • ​Our shop staff and volunteers will limit the number of customers in our shops at any one time. Please respect the fact that you may be asked to wait outside until someone leaves. This is to protect you, other customers as well as our staff and volunteers.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are situated in the entrance to each shop and we encourage all customers to sanitise their hands when they enter and exit the shop. Please do not be offended if you are asked to sanitise your hands.
  • You will be encouraged to social distance in line with government guidelines by keeping at least 1m away from other people.
  • If you are purchasing goods, you will see signage on the floor, please stand there and you will be called forward to the till.
  • Please pay for items using a contactless debit or credit card whenever possible to minimise the handling of cash
  • Please do not visit our shops if you are feeling poorly, particularly if you have COVID-symptoms.
  • Please wear a face covering as it is mandatory to do so in all shops in England.
  • Our staff and volunteers will be wearing PPE, this is to protect you and and them.