How You Can Help Your Local Shelter During COVID-19 Crisis

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
The COVID-19 crisis has the world upside down, and that’s never been more the case for animal shelters. While medical professionals are working tirelessly to take care of human patients, many pet parents want to know: How can YOU help your local shelter during COVID-19?

We know that the front lines in hospitals across the country are in the midst of or prepping for health illness we’ve not seen since the Spanish Flu in 1918.

And for animal shelters around the country, they too are facing issues never dreamed of before. Just because a pandemic has hit the world, animal care specialists and shelters still are on the front lines too–fighting to provide for animals who need homes, particularly in light of animals being dumped due to COVID-19 fears,

Animal shelters still need help with the daily tasks that come with caring for dogs and cats looking for forever homes. They still need to clean and sanitize shelters an kennels, as well as feed the pets and exercise them and make sure their medical needs are met. With no volunteers onsite, this can be tough.

Related: What Experts Say You Need To Know About COVID-19 And Your Dog

Thankfully, more people are considering fostering or adopting during this time we’re all sheltered in our homes, but as economic hardships may come, shelters are hoping surrenders don’t start growing in exponential numbers.

So, how can YOU help your local shelter, particularly if you are under a stay-at-home order? Thankfully, there are many organizations and companies still allowing orders online for supplies, foods and medicines. Chewy, PetSmart, Amazon and even local pet supply stores are considered essential in most states, and you can either order online and have things sent directly, or do curbside pickups and drop-offs while still maintaining social distancing rules.

Items still needed the most are of course wet/dry foods for cats and dogs, as well as milk/formula for kittens and puppies. Shelter babies also need puppy pads and treats, and your local shelter may even have a wish list from which you can buy and have directly sent. If they don’t, perhaps that’s something you can volunteer your time in helping develop.

And while many shelters are not taking applications for volunteers anymore, they typically ARE looking for foster homes in this time. Fostering a pet in your home helps relieve the burden on the local shelter as they can’t have too many onsite, and helps keep the pets safe and secure while the world waits to come outside again.

Follow your local rescue shelters on social media too. Thankfully, technology is keeping us as connected as we can be. Many shelters are turning to social media to shout out needs on a regular basis and you may be surprised at how you can help. Shelters may be seeking towels and you may have an abundance since you’ve cleaned the closets out. You never know, but following your local shelters’ social media pages will always keep you in the know as to how you can.

Related: Quarantined With Pets? Here Are Must-Have Essentials During COVID-19

Of course, shelters can always use monetary donations too. We know times are tough, and look as though they may get tougher. Still, this is a time where every penny matters, so even if everyone on your shelters’ social media followers list only donated $1 a week, you’d be surprised at how quickly that compounded. No amount really is too small, and they all add up to help our furry friends in their time of need.

Last, if you’ve been thinking about adopting a dog or cat? NOW IS THE TIME! You have the time at home, you have the love and care to give, and they need security as much as you do. You’ll never regret bringing the joy and love that fur family can give into your life, and forever will be reminded of the silver linings of this world pandemic.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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