So President Trump has COVID. I would imagine New Orleans is getting annoyed with every storm seeming to target them in one way or another! I love that city, and I sincerely hope they get a few years off after this.
What does this have to do with shelters? Everything! Since COVID has completely changed how we do things, and we have had a lot of storms and fires to deal with on top of that, there is less adopting going on, less donating, and less volunteering. From the shelters that I asked, there are a myriad of concerns even now. Supplies are always short, and if there are evacuations in one part of the country or in the world, then shelters outside of that zone end up trying to take up the slack by sheltering as many fur babies as they can. Then, of course, with COVID, they are getting less volunteer help due to COVID concerns as well as less adoptions overall, and donations have also fallen. Understand that this is a small sampling. I asked a few random no-kill shelters around the country what their struggles are. Money and supplies are always a concern, of course. Some shelters are having capacity issues with the storms. I would imagine COVID has contributed to that in some form as well.
What can we do to help? A lot of us are broke from this whole mess, so how do you help? First of all, if Kitty snubs a certain food, and there is no hope they are going to change their mind, donate it to your local shelter. Bought the wrong kind? If you can afford to, donate that one, and go buy the correct one. Shelters can always use small blankets (like baby receiving blankets), pet beds of various sizes, bowls, toys, etc. If you are stuck at home, it is a good time to clean out. Find out if your local shelters can use any items you want to get rid of. Our local Humane Society has two thrift stores to help support them, and if you have that, you can donate anything in good shape! (I have had to accept that my favorite jeans from 10 years ago just will never fit again along with half my closet and most of my drawers (sigh), so my thrift store is going to be overwhelmed in November. (Check it out for good Christmas bargains!)
If you have been able to keep your job and income, donate a little money or see if your shelter has an Amazon Wish List. My local shelters has one here if you want to see what it looks like. Those purchases are tax deductible, at least here. If you are healthy, you can also go raid the clearance/sale areas in the local pet stores and aisles in the big box places, if you like to shop for bargains. I cannot resist a good bargain, even when it isn’t for me. This actually serves multiple purposes: You get to leave your house, do something good, go bargain hunting, get some walking in, and have a little fun. BOGO deals on pet supplies is one way I like to donate because, I am paying for the one regardless. I can then donate the free one to my local shelter (when there aren’t quantity limits, anyway). Oh, and don’t forget the catnip!
Finally, if you are able, adoption is a wonderful thing to do. If you are not sure about keeping another pet long term, fostering is another great option. It helps take some of the pressure off the overwhelmed shelters, and you can help out as needed. They get really excited if they know you have special needs experience!
To that end, I am a failed foster parent through and through. I get too attached, and I cannot foster. I would foster, but everyone in my house understands that “fostering” is going to lead to another permanent resident. Keep in mind also, you do not have to foster or adopt a kitten! There are a lot of adult kitties that need a place. Some owners have surrendered their pets due to financial constraints, a family member passing away, and various other reasons. Adult cats are great companions, and I personally think the older cats are more appreciative once they understand that they have a home, THEIR home. Virtually every shelter I have ever talked to will do their best to give you as much of Kitty’s history as possible. Sometimes, as with an abandonment situation, that is not possible, but they will give you everything they know along with health records they have.
You don’t have to adopt a small zoo to make an impact on our lost and less fortunate fur babies. Anything you can do, no matter how small, helps. If we all help a little (or a lot if we are able), together, we can take some of the pressure off these wonderful shelters and help more kitties make it to forever homes.
One other thing you can do: Most veterinary offices have some sort of emergency fund set up that you can donate to. This is helpful for fur parents who cannot afford a lifesaving procedure, or just fell on hard times and need a little help to pay the Kitty doctor bill. When you pay your vet bill asked out this. Donate $5 or $100 – every dollar helps.
Until then, the Feline Diabetes Support Group on FB is always available for support for questions, venting, and all things sugar Kitty with more than likely a few great stories about rescuing shelter kitties. All my babies are rescues, and I have never regretted any of the adoptions I have made – not even a little.