Response to COVID-19 will kill shelter pets

EMERGENCY — What we are doing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in humans is certain to result in the deaths of shelter animals. Why? Because adoption events are being canceled and people are staying away from shelters to avoid spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus.

At the same time, shelters are still being presented with homeless animals for which many shelters and rescues may soon have no available space. And when even good shelters run out of space, we know what happens.

There is only one realistic way to save these lives. That is for foster parents to help reduce the load on shelters and rescues. That and for people to donate money and supplies to shelters and rescues to care for these homeless pets.

The number of new fosters we generate plus the ability of current fosters to care for additional animals will significantly determine how many homeless pets will make it out of this pandemic alive.

It will be up to all of us to help recruit more fosters, especially from pet-loving friends, relatives, coworkers, etc., who have never fostered previously.

Even in places where shelters lack formal foster programs, rescues will often step forward to pull animals when they have confirmed foster parents ready to take them.

As always, the animals need our help. Now, they may need it more than ever.

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