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How are Texas Shelter Animals Faring Through COVID-19?

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Hearts are huge here in Texas for shelter animals. We participate in adoption drives and volunteer when shelters identify a need. But how has the COVID-19 pandemic forced the hand of those who are caring for these animals in the face of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders? Places like Dallas Animal Services (DAS) have been operating in emergency mode since health concerns were originally identified, and our “normal” way of doing business began to alter.

The Dallas Animal Services building was closed to the public on March 24, 2020, due to the recent COVID-19 and Coronavirus pandemic. Ed Jamison, the Shelter Director, has long prepared marketing tools to welcome prospective fosters and adopters into the shelter. This spring, he’s had to revisit them altogether. The results of his new strategies will make the difference between his shelter animals finding a new home versus resorting to euthanasia as a measure in preventing growing populations.

How are Texas Shelter Animals Faring Through COVID-19?

Photo: envato elements

When the first declarations of emergency were shared throughout Texas on March 13, 2020, the shelter’s course of action was to work to get animal populations down within the facility before they were forced to face difficult space decisions. While they were still open to the public at that time, the shelter worked toward effective crowd management. Then additional emergency measures were announced, and the shelter’s business was required to move online. The response from people in North Texas has been outstanding, with some shelter animals finding themselves with fosters more days than they’re in kennels at DAS.

How are Texas Shelter Animals Faring Through COVID-19?

Photo: envato elements

This same experience may not ring true for various other shelter animals throughout the state of Texas. Readers are advised to check with their local shelters and animal services offices to see if any assistance can be provided in fostering, where possible. Shelter staff are fully aware that not being able to physically meet shelter animals before making the decision to foster or adopt can be daunting for some. In this instance, a strong phone support system should be in place with the shelter team, in order to ensure you are fully aware of the nature of the shelter animals you’re inquiring on. Also, look to follow shelter social media streams for news and updates, animal features, and videos on animal behavior. Other foster and adoption families may also be sharing their experiences in video posts online for you to have a better understanding of the process and overall experience.

How are Texas Shelter Animals Faring Through COVID-19?
Photo: envato elements

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