The Ulster County SPCA is seeking “on-call” emergency fosters who can take home a pet if the shelter nears critical capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic.
People with pets need to create an emergency preparedness plan that includes designating a household member to care for pets in the home if the individual is sick. If individuals must care for pets, including service animals, they should wash hands before and after caring for pets and wear a facemask while interacting with pets. Additionally, identify a friend, family member or even boarding facility to care for pets if unable to do so for any reason. This will ensure peace of mind for the pet owner, reduce stress for the pet and minimize the number of animals entering shelters.
Gina Carbonari, executive director of the UCSPCA, stated “We are currently closed to the public, but still providing services. Adoptions will continue by appointment only and our Humane Law Officers will continue to answer high priority and emergency calls, including injured, sick and stray animals, cruelty and neglect complaints, and more. Community members can still call the shelter at 845-331-5377 for assistance during our normal hours Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30 am-3:30 pm.”
Because the UCSPCA typically operates at or near capacity, reducing intakes and maintaining a steady stream of pets leaving the shelter is essential to prevent overcrowding.
“We are recruiting these emergency fosters to serve as a safety net for animals whose owners either haven’t prepared by having an identified emergency caretaker or simply do not have someone able to assist them in this responsibility.” Carbonari added, “The UCSPCA has only so much space; we need pet owners to make plans, but we also need these fosters available for the worst-case scenario of emergency boarding needs, similar to any other emergency or natural disaster.”
The UCSPCA will be needing on-call emergency fosters for all types of pets, but especially for medium and large dogs, kittens and pets with medical or behavioral issues. The UCSPCA will provide vet care, supplies, and food for all fosters. If you’re interested in being an on-call emergency foster, call the UCSPCA at 845-331-5377 x229, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website, www.ucspca.org.
Those who can’t adopt or foster can make a donation to the UCSPCA to help with fostering supplies and other emergency costs associated with helping our community’s pets and their families. Donations can be made at www.ucspca.org.
Of note: the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control both have stated that, at this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19.