The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing the country towards a complete lockdown with people told to stay home as much as possible. This is not only affecting the lives of millions of people but is taking a toll on animal shelters.
Animal shelters around the country are begging people to consider fostering during this challenging time.
Shelter intakes continue to increase but adoption rates have plummeted. In addition, the amount of volunteers and staff has dropped due to self-quarantines. Many states are issuing orders for non-essential business, including shelters, to close in hopes of reducing the spread of coronavirus.
Shelter pets do not understand what is going on but can sense the panic and fear. Animal shelters are begging people to open their hearts and homes to a homeless dog or cat. It is a win-win for everyone.
Fostering a pet means temporarily caring for the dog or cat until a forever home is found. Caitlin, amazing foster mom, recently took in Brian, a deaf and heartworm positive shelter dog, from City Dogs Cleveland. She is teaching the sweet boy sign language and encourages others to foster.
“With so many people able to stay home at this time [due to COVID-19], I feel that it’s a great opportunity to help more animals in need. The animals aren’t going to stop coming in, however, we may see a dip in the number of people showing up to help. Taking these animals out of the shelter environment helps to not only free up kennel space, but gives them a much-needed break. Fostering also helps to give them the exposure they need to help them get adopted and is rewarding in every way. Fostering is so powerful.”
During this uncertain and scary time, cuddling with a dog or cat is the perfect solution. There is no need to practice social distancing with pets as experts say “There is currently no evidence that pet animals can be a source of infection of COVID-19 or that they become sick.”
People are working from home and schools are out so it is a perfect time to foster a pet in need. Shelters provide all the necessary items to care for the dog or cat. Best Friends Animal Society is even offering FREE veterinary consultations to people that are unable to leave their homes. Who knows, you may just fall in love and become a foster fail (which is a good thing).
“Right now, we really need all hands on deck to help us save lives,” said Melissa Lipani with Best Friends Animal Society.
Contact your local shelter to see how you can help by fostering. If you are unable to foster but would still like to help shelter pets, you can donate here.
GreaterGood.org is taking this situation seriously and is committed to helping our national network of shelters and rescues and the vulnerable pets they care for during this time of need.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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