Shelter Is Nearly Empty Because So Many People Stepped Up To Foster
When businesses first began to close due to the coronavirus outbreak, a lot of shelters were worried about caring for so many animals during this time. Many hoped they could get at least some of their pets into foster homes — and since then, it’s incredible how many people across the country have stepped up to help.
The City of San Antonio Animal Care Services in Texas takes in about 30,000 animals every year. They’re one of the largest municipal shelters in the country, and caring for all of those homeless pets takes a lot of work. Due to health concerns surrounding the coronavirus, everyone at the shelter vowed to get as many animals adopted, fostered or taken in by rescues as possible. Little did they know, the entire community was more than ready to help them with their goal.
“Since [March 15] we have received 254 foster applications (normally we receive 60 a month),” Lisa Norwood, public relations and outreach manager at City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, told The Dodo. “So we’ve received more than four times the number of interested fosters in two weeks than we do in four months.”
In March, the shelter was able to get more than 600 pets adopted, 118 placed in foster homes, and more than 900 taken in by local rescue partners. As of now, the shelter only has around 150 animals left — about one-third of the number they’d have on a normal day.
Entire buildings and sections of the normally hectic shelter are now completely empty, and the staff couldn’t be more grateful to everyone who stepped up to help.
“One of the things that we have seen is that during any crisis there's always a rise in compassion,” Norwood said.
The City of San Antonio Animal Care Services isn’t the only shelter experiencing the love and support of their community. People all over are adopting and taking in fosters like never before, and it’s truly heartwarming to see people wanting to help right now.
The staff members at the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services have always tried to celebrate every victory, big or small — but this past month was definitely one of the bigger victories they’ve seen in a while.
“Any time that we can help a pet, it feels good,” Norwood said.