In these uncertain times, there is one thing that we can count on – the kindness of strangers. And one animal shelter in San Diego is working hard to help those in their community affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Helen Woodward Animal Center of San Diego made the announcement that they will be launching a free “drive-through” pet food distribution in order to help those who have either lost their jobs or have gone without a paycheck as a result of the current pandemic.
Besides handing out a two-week supply of dog or cat food per household/animal, they will also be giving out a free 6lb. bag of cat litter – thanks to the litter company Naturally Fresh – to the first 200 cat owners.
They will still be doing their best to stick to social distancing guidelines, therefore, there will be scheduled appointment times that fall 10 minutes apart. In addition, all participants will be asked not to leave their cars while picking up supplies.
All those who qualify for the the assistance have to fill out an appointment request form on the shelter’s website in order to be a part of the distribution program. There are additional distributions scheduled for the following weeks – provided food supplies are available.
The director of outreach services at Helen Woodward Animal Center, Christen Hanley, released a statement saying, “Pets are members of our families too and we want to assist in keeping them fed in this stressful time. Keeping families together, healthy and happy is one way we can help others. We’re seeing so many members of our community impacted and we hope that this will bring a little peace to families with pets in this time of need.”
This wasn’t the first time that the shelter did a nice gesture – in fact, last year they rolled out their AniMeals program which provided almost 500,000 meals for the pets of San Diego County for the people experiencing issues leaving their homes.
Given that now there is a huge push for self-isolation, it’s proving to be a great time for fostering a pet.
In fact, the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, Julie Castle, told PEOPLE, “If you don’t have a pet and are thinking about getting one, now is the perfect time to ‘try it on’ by fostering from your local shelter. Shelters and pet adoption facilities nationwide need people to foster pets on a temporary basis.”
In fact, fostering an animal at this time would help local shelters a great deal by relieving the pressure they’re under with the decreased adoptions, as well as the increase in surrenders. The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, as well as the American Veterinary Medical Association have all tried to stop the spread of misinformation by telling people that pets aren’t at risk of spreading the coronavirus. Plus, science has shown that animals actually make you feel happier, therefore healthier.
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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