Foster a Pet During the Pandemic!

Fostering a pet during the coronavirus crisis is a simple and fun thing you can do that will save an innocent life and bring joy to their future owner.

Walking the dog has been a popular diversion for many enduring coronavirus quarantine, with pets playing an important role in helping humans get through this difficult time. Shelter-in-place orders around the country have even created a surge in demand for pets to provide both companionship and comfort.

ABC News

Shelters have even been forced to close by the Covid-19 pandemic, shutting down the only refuge many abandoned pets have.

Looking for something to do from your home, something that will make a real difference, make the world a better place, and neither put you at risk nor cost you money? Maybe you can’t sew a DIY mask, or 3D print a ventilator, but still want to do something effective.

Well, we got you fam.

The Covid-19 pandemic has strained relationships of all kinds, even those between innocent animals and their owners. People are giving up their pets for adoption at record rates, and shelters are overwhelmed. In some shelters, pets have only three days until they’re euthanized because of lack of space.

You can help, by fostering these abandoned dogs, cats, birds, ferrets and more. Thousands of people are already volunteering to temporarily house these pets. People whose lives don’t usually allow for pets are now home, looking for distraction, connection, and an excuse to go for a socially distanced walk. There’s never been a better time.

Many of the surrendered pets are seniors, already house, litter, and leash trained, and no doubt bewildered by the sudden changes in their worlds. Shelters will take care to match your household to a pet that will fit in; robust, easy-going pets for households with young children, working breeds for runners, companionable homebodies like Persian cats for seniors or low-energy foster households. Jack Russells for people who like a good laugh and a solid challenge.

The reason behind the trend, the groups say, is simple. As COVID-19 shuts down workplaces and schools, many Canadians find themselves with enough time to welcome a new pet into their lives, either permanently or as a temporary foster.

CTV News

If you’re interested in fostering, there are a few steps you should take before plunging ahead.

  • Get consensus from everyone who lives in the house on both the idea of fostering and the species you want to foster. Homes are needed for dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, and more exotic pets like snakes as well.
  • Inventory your skillset with regard to pet management. Don’t volunteer to foster eight pythons if your biggest qualification is “thinks they’re cool.” Be clear with the shelter about your experience and energy levels.
  • Contact local shelters and rescue groups to make sure they need foster homes. Some have suspended intakes for the duration of the pandemic, and some have more foster homes than they can handle.
  • Double-check that your housing is pet-ready: organize a litterbox area, move breakable objects off the floor (seriously, why were they there in the first place?), find a spot for the pet bed and realize there need to be at least two per pet: one in your living/working area and one in the bedroom. If you’ll be getting a dog, it’s wise to put your shoes in a cupboard to prevent them from getting chewed. And find a place to keep the petfood where the pet cannot get at it.

Once you’re ready, call the shelter or rescue agency back and let them connect you with a pet. They’ll give you the details of daily care and will often supply beds, bowls, and the like. If not, you can probably improvise something. Remember to keep good social distancing when you go to pick up the pet, and when you walk it (if it’s a pet that needs walking). Dog parks are mostly closed now, but perhaps you have a friend with a yard who will let you run your dog in the yard if they’re not using it. They should NOT be in the yard when you are, but they can watch from the window or a deck.

And don’t forget to share your new foster with the internet which is, after all, ruled by cats. Use the hashtag #OpCovid19 or post a link to an Instagram pic in the comments here if we inspired you to foster some lucky pet!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. raincoaster says:

    Reblogged this on raincoaster and commented:

    Step up and save a life! So many people are discovering or re-discovering the joy that a pet can bring, while we are all home and bored out of our fucking trees. And a dog is a great excuse for a walk, always.


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