In times of crisis–be it a natural disaster or a pandemic–animal shelters are hit hard. The total number of pets usually grows by the day, while supplies and staff counts run low. When our quarantine took effect, several shelters reached out to us at D Magazine, asking for help to promote their foster programs. Operation Kindness, a no-kill shelter in Carrollton, had 30 cats and 15 dogs that urgently needed fosters. Meanwhile, the SPCA of Texas needed to find homes for hundreds.
As Dallasites turned all their attention to coronavirus preparation, I worried that these pets would fall through the cracks. Well, readers, I have good news to share. Both the SPCA and Operation Kindness received an unprecedented number of foster applications, and nearly 400 pets have been placed with foster families in North Texas.
“We had an overwhelming response,” said Operation Kindness. “[We’ve] pretty much cleared our shelter.” Operation Kindness received 26 foster applications in February; in March, the number jumped to 200. The organization was able to find foster homes for 208 animals. Just 20 pets remain at the facility to receive essential medical care.
The SPCA’s Dallas location houses 211 animals on average. Now, the number is down to 69. The organization fosters out 23 pets per week on average; in the past two weeks, they’ve fostered out 189.
“Staff and volunteers can give them all the love, attention, playtime and enrichment we can offer, but nothing can ever compare to a real home,” says the SPCA. “Fostering saves lives, and [we are] so incredibly grateful.”
Going forward, both organizations need the community’s continued support.
Here’s how you can help shelter pets during the quarantine.
- Donate supplies through Operation Kindness’s Amazon Wishlist. The organization is supplying food, toys, medicine, and so forth to each foster family. It’ll also need to restock its facility to prepare for incoming pets.
- Donate monetarily through Operation Kindness’s website. Operation Kindness has rescheduled several major fundraising events due to COVID-19. Your donation can help offset that loss.
- Donate monetarily through SPCA’s website. Support the SPCA’s remaining animals (and the many to come) as they undergo medical and behavioral rehabilitation to get ready for adoption.
- Though foster families are no longer needed right now, they will be in the future. Keep tabs on Operation Kindness’s site here and SPCA’s here to learn when applications re-open.
For the 400 recently placed foster pets, life couldn’t be better. Bree, a previously timid pup, is finally letting her guard down. Senior dog Delilah is enjoying long naps in her cozy new bed. Brutus and his foster family’s children have become inseparable.