Our world is currently in a panic state due to corona virus. The corona virus is a contagious respiratory virus that originated from China in December of 2019 and has made its way around the world including to the United States. This virus is easily transmitted from person to person by talking, sneezing and coughing. According to Johns Hopkins Corona virus Resource Center, the US has 143,532 confirmed infections with 2,572 confirmed deaths, which is more than any other country.
On March 27, news articles announced that the first animal had caught the virus. A cat in Belgium that more than likely caught the virus from a human. There is no actual evidence that humans can contract the virus from animals but ever since this news was heard worldwide, people have begun to turn their backs to their furry companions.
“You cannot get the coronavirus from your pets. People are dumping their animals at shelters out of ignorance and fear” said Brooke Knox, a Veterinary Technician in Atlanta, Georgia. “We are preparing for an onslaught of animals, yet we are not able to adopt them out.” Owners are reacting in fear by leaving their pets at animal shelters.
There are many ways that you can help these struggling animal shelters. First, think about adopting or seeing if your local shelter needs a foster. “There are many shelters across the country in need of volunteers to temporarily take in animals; it’s a fulfilling way to help, particularly now that you have nowhere to go,” said Animal Care Centers of New York. You can permanently adopt or temporarily foster and you can do this by visiting your local animal shelter.
Another way to help is to donate, this can be money or supplies. Nonprofit rescues rely on donations but because of the cancellation of many events, rescues can no longer host charity events and festivals to get their donations. “All of our fundraising events have been canceled,” said Anna Lai, a spokesperson for Muddy Paws, a nonprofit dog rescue in New York City. You can take note of a shelter’s wish lists on their websites. Some shelters have also set up Amazon wish lists which allows people to buy supplies for them. Share these websites and wish lists to your friends and families.
As the corona virus gets worse in the US, many places are forced to close their businesses but from some places, closing is not an option. While families are at home, animal shelters, rescues, and organizations all over the world are asking for your help. Whether that be donating, adopting, fostering or just volunteering. A new cuddly buddy might be a great way to relieve some stress whether that’s permanent or temporary.