Tags: Coronavirus | animal | shelter | pets | foster | care | stayathome

Animal Shelters 'Overwhelmed' by Those Seeking Companions

a billboard shows pets available for fostering and adoption
(Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 19 April 2020 09:53 AM

If there might be a silver lining in the social distancing protocols around the U.S., it could be Americans getting closer to their families and pets. 

And now an NBC report finds 400 animal shelters around the country have been a popular place to find a home companion.

"The call has been answered," Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Kitty Block told NBC News.

As people shelter in place, they have been saving pets' lives throughout shelters and animal advocacy organizations with facilities in California, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Texas, Washington, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and North Carolina, per the report.

"We've seen an incredible outpouring of support," Atlanta Humane Society Spokesperson Christina Hill told NBC News. "It's been really heartwarming to see that."

There has been a 70% increase in animals entering foster care in the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (ASPCA) New York City and Los Angeles programs, CEO Matt Bershadker told NBC News.

Knowing shelter in place was coming in New Jersey, one of the highest infection areas in the world, Liberty Humane Society shelter in Jersey City, New Jersey, was "overwhelmed" with those seeking a companion, according to Executive Director Irene Borngraeber to NBC News.

"We were actually able to place every single one of our animals into foster care, the day before shelter-in-place order formally went into place," she said.

There is a downside to this feel-good story, however, because if the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic causes poverty, there might be an influx of pets being delivered to the animal shelters because people can no longer afford to take care of them. Also, those sick with the virus or deceased will not longer be able to care for their pets.

This has prompted the ASPCA to provide 9,000 pets with food in New York City,  Miami, Florida, Asheville, North Carolina,  and Los Angeles.

"The idea behind this is to provide the critical resources to pet owners so that they can responsibly keep and care for the pets that they love and they're bonded to — keep them out of the shelter in the first place," Bershadker told NBC News.

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If there might be a silver lining in the social distancing protocols around the U.S., it could be Americans getting closer to their families and pets. ...
animal, shelter, pets, foster, care, stayathome
Sunday, 19 April 2020 09:53 AM
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