COVID-19 WIC and Social Service Workers: Helping Your Local Animal Shelter

Helping Your Local Animal Shelter

During these difficult and confusing times, it’s important that we all rally together to help one another. This week, we’re releasing daily blog posts with ideas for how your clinic can help the people in your community.

Today’s post focuses more on the four-legged members of your community. Local animal shelters have been hit particularly hard, as adoption rates slow down, intakes increase, and employees need time off. Many shelters have reduced their hours of operation and are only allowing adoptions by appointment. These animals are now stuck in shelters with limited human interaction, where before people could come in and shop around or shelters could host adoption events. What can you do to help the animal shelters in your area?

Foster or Adopt a Shelter Animal

A recent article on discusses the many benefits of fostering or adopting a shelter animal during the pandemic. During a time where an unprecedented number of people are working from home, it can be easier to help a new animal adjust. Some of the benefits of fostering or adopting are obvious: people are lonely and have a lot of time on their hands -- taking care of an animal can help with both of those issues.

Fostering also benefits the animal, who would much rather hang out in a home than at the shelter. Finally, you would also be helping out the animal shelter. They rely on volunteers to foster animals, as they simply don’t have enough resources to manage all the animals they take in. Fostering or adopting an animal takes the weight off their shoulders and allows them to spread their resources out further.

Donate to a Shelter

If you’re unable to foster an animal, you can still help out! states that, “Shelters should prepare for COVID-19 like any other natural disaster during which intake is expected to increase.” In other words, due to the uncertainties surrounding the virus, shelters expect an influx of animals. People are losing their jobs or feeling unstable, and some might decide they can’t take good care of their pets anymore.

Taking care of these animals is difficult when staples like hand sanitizer and paper towels are hard to find. If you have access to extras, or are able to grab some cat or dog food, consider donating to an animal shelter to help ease their burden.

The Humane Society of the United States points out that Amazon is still shipping, with priority being placed on high-demand products. The site has a feature that allows you to shop with a charity selected so a portion of your purchase goes to the charity of your choice. You can shop at AmazonSmile and select the Humane Society if you want to help financially.

If you’d prefer your monetary donations remain local, follow your local animal shelters on Facebook. They will often post information and resources so you know the specific ways you can help the animals in your community.


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