The online news regarding animal shelters in North America indicates quite severe difficulties are being encountered by some of them due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are some examples.
The Globe and Mail online website reports from Canada and they say that pet adoptions are on hold across Canada and animal shelters are struggled to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak. Humane Society offices in Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto are closed to the general public. They don’t want customers coming in and out of the building. This means that the animals stay put.
Management have decided in some instances to interview potential adopters on the telephone as none of the shelters are allowing people to walk into the facility and turn in a companion animal.
In Modesto, California, USA, the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency has put out an emergency call for foster carers to take in the shelter’s cats and dogs. Last Wednesday the shelter closed to the public because of the Covid-19 epidemic. The epidemic makes finding foster families more difficult. Adoptions and loss pet recoveries will take place as usual at the shelter but by appointment only.
In Florida, Friends of Strays has temporarily suspended their volunteer program at its Saint Petersburg animal shelter. It is open to essential staff and customers who are genuinely seeking to adopt an animal. The shelter is waving adoption fees on all animals indefinitely, it is reported online. Only 10 visitors are allowed to be in the building at any one time.
The shelter is suffering from a shortage of staff which I presume is occurred because of self-isolation due to the Covid-19 virus. There’s been a drastic slowdown in adoptions and donations. The shelter is looking for emergency foster carers willing to look after shelter animals for a minimum of 14 days. The shelter is also asking for donations after they have been forced to cancel all fundraising events for the foreseeable future.
California and San Francisco
ABC7 News reports that animal shelters in California, USA are in need of help in providing temporary homes for companion animals during the Covid-19 pandemic. Temporary homes for cats and dogs allows shelter staff and volunteers to stop coming into the shelter which in turn prevents spreading of the Covid-19 virus. It’s about social distancing as advised by governments in most countries.
In San Francisco, Sherri Franklin has housed a dozen dogs at her home rather than at the Muttville shelter that she founded in San Francisco 13 years ago. The other companion animals are at foster homes (80+ dogs). Sherri says that she does not want to bring people into work to avoid making contact with each other and passing on the Covid-19 virus. She is setting up appointments on a one-to-one basis and waving adoption fees during the emergency.
In conclusion, it appears that animal shelters are doing their very best to socially distance staff from each other which means foster caring as an ideal solution and setting up meetings by phone on a one-to-one basis while encouraging adoption by reducing or eliminating adoption fees. It’s a very difficult time it seems to me for animal shelters in North America.
SOME MORE ON ANIMAL SHELTERS: