By: Kim Parrish
When Hurricane Dorian reared her head in 2019, the SPCA pulled out the sandbags, made sure all equipment was on high ground, discussed staffing logistics, prepared our volunteers and began reaching out to foster providers.
Luckily, we did not have the damage that was expected and as soon as Dorian subsided, we were business as usual.
While preparing for this potential crisis, we discovered the willingness of our community to do whatever was necessary to help the SPCA.
The current situation is of a much different nature than a hurricane and one that will have a far-reaching effect on our region. It will most certainly impact the animal shelters throughout our area as well. Funding will decrease, intakes will increase, and adoptions will slow down. Our rescue partners will be overwhelmed, and services such as low cost spay/ neuter, that have been suspended, means more pregnant animals. With unemployment increasing daily, the care and feeding of animals often becomes an added burden and owner surrenders will increase. We will continue to get in stray cats and dogs, and since it is kitten season, our shelter will soon be filled with pregnant cats and nursing kittens. In other words, our shelters may be overwhelmed beyond capacity.
It paints a bleak picture but there are a few positive actions that our community can take to help. If possible, continue providing food and supplies to your local shelter. Before surrendering your pet to the shelter, please call the SPCA to discuss ways in which we can help you maintain your pets at home. Become a foster provider: Foster families have always been a lifeline for our animals and for those who are home, having an animal greatly reduces stress and combats the loneliness of isolation. Fostering also reduces space in the shelter and helps staff care for those who are not able to foster out. Contact your local shelter to find out how you can become a foster provider.
These are very uncertain times. We all must do what we can to help each other and to ensure that our families and neighbors are taken care of. I know we can find room in our hearts, and homes to look after those who, by no fault of their own, have become victims as well.
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