Animal shelters, rescues see increase in adoption & foster applications amid COVID-19 pandemic


SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Several Central New York animal shelters and rescues say they’ve seen a recent increase in the number of adoption and foster applications.

Something they have linked to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But while the thought of bringing home a new dog or cat may sound perfect while you’re cooped up at home, what happens when things return to normal?

“Will you be able to care for the dog once you’re back on a normal work schedule and the kids are back in school with all their activities,” asks Maureen Davison.

Davison is part of the foster group Bernard’s Beagle Rescue, which recently stopped bringing on new foster families temporarily for two reasons: lack of familiarity and health safety.

“The biggest challenge for us during this [pandemic] is being able to go out into people’s homes and do the meet and greets with their animals and all the family members,” said Davison.

A sentiment shared by shelters like HumaneCNY.

“We’re not turning people away at the door because we don’t want animals to go home we are turning people away because we have to stay healthy,” said Executive Director, Christine McNeely.

For that reason and the aforementioned “right fit”, HumaneCNY, the CNY SPCA, Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter, and Bernard’s Beagle Rescue are changing up OR putting most adoptions and fostering on hold.

“We’re just kind of hunkering down and playing it by ear at this point,” McNeely said.

New York considers caring for shelter animals essential work so while many of us are staying home, McNeely and her staff will be busy at work. She says the best way people can help right is by donating money to their local shelter.

“We have about three months’ worth of supplies so to send out our supporters and to risk them getting sick going from store to store, we just don’t want that to happen,” said McNeely.

Both groups only hope that once this period of the unknown is over everyone will be just as eager and committed to fostering and adopting.

For more information contact your local shelter online or via social media. Most shelter and rescue locations are closed to the public because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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