Cat and Dog Adoptions Surge as Shelters Find Creative Ways to Reach Out Amid Pandemic
By Elias Marat
The coronavirus pandemic has rippled through society, disrupting and transforming lives in myriad, unpredictable ways.
However, amid the crisis people have gone out on a limb not only to help each other but also to help homeless pets find temporary housing as animal shelters feel the impact of lockdown orders throughout the country.
Organizations like the Asheville Humane Society in North Carolina have had to suspend volunteer care jobs, forcing them to find alternatives to their traditional methods of finding foster parents for homeless cats and dogs.
However, after launching an online appeal to recruit temporary foster families, the humane organization found that their community was more than willing to step up and help take care of foster pets in need.
Asheville Humane Society staffer Meghan Lavender told Good News Network:
Such was also the case for the Kern County Animal Shelter in Bakersfield, California. Like other shelters in the Golden State, they were forced to curtail services. So rather than traditional walk-in adoptions, the shelter decided to host drive-thru adoption days for their needy cats and dogs.
Not unlike picking up a Double-Double combo meal at In-N-Out Burger, prospective foster parents could pull up to a window with paperwork and drive off with a new furry friend.
Kern County Animal Services Director Nick Cullen told the Californian:
We rely on the public to adopt. When we don’t have that avenue we’re left with no option to get animals out of the shelter. It’s not healthy to have an animal sit in a cage for 30 days.
But after an “incredible” response from the community, Cullen and his staff no longer need to fear such a sad scenario for the cats and dogs they cared for. Continuing, he said:
While the Bakersfield shelter can no longer host such events, they and other shelter staff have taken to social media groups to figure out new ways to serve homeless pups and kitties during the crisis.
Lavender told GNN:
Shortly after it became obvious that coronavirus was going to drastically disrupt everyday life, a Facebook group was utilized for animal care workers to brainstorm ideas, share what was working for them, and even to organize transfers of animals.
The group American Pets Alive! Shelter and Rescue Support has a Facebook page and website where shelters and rescue organizations can find crucial advice and information for people and their pets seeking to weather the pandemic.
The group has also laid out a comprehensive COVID-19 Animal Shelter Preparedness Guide that includes everything from tips on helping feral cats to outreach advice for shelters.