Why Right Now Could Be an Important Time to Foster a Dog

As the world closes down in a bid to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, we are looking for ways to spread a little kindness around. When you’re watching out for your family, your neighbors, and your community, keep in mind our furry friends, too.

During this time, animal shelters across the South and the rest of the United States are filling up as adoption events and shelter visits are canceled leaving pups in overcrowded conditions. Luckily, there is a way to help and it is a win-win for humans, dogs, and shelters alike—fostering.

Dog Head in Person's Lap
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Fostering is taking a dog out of the animal shelter so that it can stay with you while looking for a permanent spot, or its “fur-ever home”, as they say. The dog gets a reprieve from life in a shelter, the shelter has space to save more pups, and humans have a furry companion to keep them company while staying home in the hopes of squelching the coronavirus outbreak.

“If you don’t have a pet and are thinking about getting one, now is the perfect time to ‘try it on’ by fostering from your local shelter,” Julie Castle the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society told PEOPLE.

If you’re worried about the virus, keep in mind that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets can spread COVID-19 and the CDC has received no reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19.

Heartbreakingly, in China, many pets were left behind when people were forced to evacuate their homes during Wuhan’s outbreak, CNN reports. Now, shelters across the South are bracing for a possible influx of dogs from the pandemic and need standby foster homes for incoming abandoned animals.

Helping out a four-legged friend in need is worthy on its own, but, there’s a lot of evidence that pups are good for your health and your happiness. Plus, in Spain, it is reported that during the country’s lock down to curb the spread of COVID-19, only banks, pharmacies, and grocery stores are open, but dog owners are allowed outside to walk their dogs. While such strict rules have not been put in place in the U.S. yet, they may be coming and you could theoretically help Fido and yourself at the same time.

If you are unable to foster a dog right now, consider donating money or unused cleaning supplies, including paper towels and sanitizing products to your favorite local shelter or rescue group as many are struggling to get what they need to care for the animals right now.

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