While Coronavirus/COVID-19 has many of us practicing social distancing or settling in to shelter in place, there are still thousands of dogs and cats that need our help. Luckily, there are still plenty of ways you can support the them—and the groups that care for them.
1. Give to Animal Shelters in Need
One of the fastest and simplest ways to help a dog or cat amidst Coronavirus is by giving a donation. Fundraisers and events for many pet shelters have been cancelled. Traffic from potential adopters has slowed, but there are still pets coming in, costs for care, and needs to be met.
Visit your local animal shelter’s website to see if you can make a donation online or find animal rescue groups and shelters near you. If your local organization cannot directly take a donation, The Petfinder Foundation can help. They’re currently working overtime during the Coronavirus pandemic to identify and distribute funds to adoption organizations that need it most, and you can donate to them directly.
If you can’t donate funds directly, you can also donate product or supplies to animal rescues—and there’s no need to go directly into the shelter to do it. Just reach out to your local shelter and see if they have a wish list online. Pick a few items and send via mail.
2. Adopt a Pet
It’s as true today as it always has been. Adopting a new dog or cat is one of the best ways to help homeless pets. Search for an available dog, cat, rabbit, and more near you. If you find a pet that looks just perfect for you, fill out a pet adoption application, then reach out to the shelter directly to see what their current protocols are, given COVID-19.
Since we’ll all be spending more time at home, it’s a good time to start healthy training habits, form a bond, and get a new pet acclimated to your home.
3. Foster a Dog or Cat
If you have the space and time to temporarily bring a pet into your home, now is a great time to do it. Fostering a dog or cat is a great way to know if you’re ready to adopt, or just help a pet in need for a little while. Plus, it can make the whole process of being socially distant feel a little less lonely—and a lot more cuddly. Here are a few ways to check into fostering:
- Search Petfinder for available pets now. When you find a pet that you are interested in fostering or adopting, use the “ask about” button to reach out directly to the shelter.
- GreaterGood.org is compiling a list of shelters and rescues looking for foster families, and matching those groups with fostering volunteers from the national community. Sign up to be an emergency foster and you may help save a pet’s life—not to mention bring a little extra joy into yours.
If you have questions about fostering a dog or cat in need, feel free to check out our frequently asked questions about fostering a pet.
Other Ways to Help
- Make sure you have a disaster pet plan of your own, and run through this checklist of appropriate disaster-time supplies to make sure you’re covered
- If you’re struggling to care for a pet due to COVID-19 try to avoid taking them to a shelter that may already be overwhelmed. Consider pet rehoming as a better option.
- Share posts from local shelters and Petfinder on social media, and help spread the word.
If You Are a Shelter In Need of Help
- If your organization has been impacted by Coronavirus/COVID-19, The Petfinder Foundation has grants up to $1,000 available. To apply, visit their online portal and create an account.
- If you need fosters for animals in your care, GreaterGood.org is compiling a list of shelters and rescues looking for foster families, and matching those groups with fostering volunteers from the national community. Just fill out this quick survey so they can better understand your needs and location.