Photo Credit: Photographer for The Hayward Animal Shelter.
In the pandemic, local pet shelters remain open to the public as essential services. Pets in Need and The Hayward Animal Shelter receive help from their volunteers and donors, with the foster program proving to be especially helpful during these times.
“Within 48 hours of having to temporarily close our shelters in Redwood City and Palo Alto in March, we placed more than 150 cats and dogs with foster families,” said Pets in Need marketing manager Katerina Adamos-Jardine. “They went above and beyond in answering the call when the coronavirus struck.”
Animal shelters have also altered the adoption process to be more socially distant while still offering the same services as before. According to Hayward Animal Shelter volunteer coordinator Alyse Lui, “the only difference is we are now open by appointment only. We are doing a lot more things over the phone, through email and snail mail, over Zoom, and online through our website.”
Despite the interference of the pandemic, adoption rates remain steady. This combination of remote and appointment-based adoptions has been “very successful,” said Adamos-Jardine, and since May 1, Pets in Need has adopted out over 581 animals.
The number of animals that have been brought into local shelters differed between the shelters. The Hayward Animal Shelter had a “pretty similar rate to last year,” said Lui. Pets in Need found that “during shelter-in-place, fewer people surrendered animals to shelters,” according to Adamos-Jardine.
These shelters also work to ensure the safety of their staff. Lui stated, “We have put additional precautions in place, like requiring all employees to have their temperatures taken at the door, mandatory mask wearing and social distancing though.”
The need for these services remain high, and the shelters continue to provide important care for animals in the community. As Adamos Jardine said, “we are fortunate to have the support of many devoted donors and volunteers.”