As coronavirus spreads across the U.S., Americans in some of the country’s hardest-hit regions have stepped up to foster and adopt animals, keeping them out of shelters.

Animal shelters across Connecticut and other states have scene a huge surge in pet fostering and adoptions since the coronavirus lockdown took hold. New cat and dog owners have responded in their multitudes to shelters’ pleas to help them place animals. Some locations are offering to waive adoption fees should you decide to provide a forever home.

Contacted shelters and animal advocacy organizations with facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York said it was overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support that got animals out of shelters and into loving foster and adoptive homes.

Americans are rushing, well, not to their local shelters but to their phones and laptops to check out available pets, to donate money and supplies, to share the word on social media about rescuing homeless balls of furry fun.  

Animal shelters are considered “essential services,” such as grocery stores and pharmacies, that remain functioning under a government-ordered lockdown, even if they are closed to the public.

The Centers for Disease Control and other authorities have issued advisories saying there is no evidence at this time that companion animals can contract or spread the COVID-19 virus. Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. are the perfect companions during this time of “social distancing.” Dogs, especially, enjoy going on walks, which will ensure fresh air and exercise for you even if you’ve been ordered to shelter in place.

Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Kitty Block said that the organization has worked with its 400 shelter partners to spread the word about the need to clear shelters by placing pets with foster and adoptive homes. “The call has been answered,” Block said.

If you’ve decided this is the right time for you, rescues have altered their process to meet social distancing policies, you can work with each rescue to find a way to adopt that works for you.

Information about available animals at your local shelter can be found at: theshelterpetproject.org.

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