Shelters work to combat the coronavirus


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A dog reaching its head through a cage, letting a person pet it

Analei Berger, Around Creek Editor

Right now, news outlets are broadcasting about the coronavirus constantly, but there are some unspoken services that are struggling during times like these; homeless and animal shelters. Most of these places rely on public funding and donations. They also can only operate with person to person contact. In most animal shelters, in order to adopt or foster a pet, someone would need to physically go into the shelter, conduct an interview with the volunteers and pick out an adoptable animal.

Throughout social media, there have been different posts from several different shelters begging people to foster the animals at the shelter. Along with using social media to convince and plead people to foster, they are also posting things that they need to be donated. The shelters want to get pets into homes so that they do not have to stay in the shelters by themselves. All of the volunteers and shelter workers are not allowed to be there because of social distancing requirements, leaving many shelters understaffed.

Along with the animal shelters, homeless shelters are also struggling. Their purpose is to provide the homeless with a safe place to sleep and a place to get a meal. In some of the homeless camps, in order to prevent communal spread of COVID-19, there are precautions being taken in these shelters. The people who are staying outside must stay in a 12 by 12 foot area. There are also other precautions that are being made recommended by the CDC.

“Ensure nearby restroom facilities have functional water taps, are stocked with hand hygiene materials (soap, drying materials) and bath tissue, and remain open to people experiencing homelessness 24 hours per day… If toilets or handwashing facilities are not available nearby, provide access to portable latrines with handwashing facilities for encampments of more than 10 people,” the Center for Disease Control (CDC), on guidelines for running homeless shelters, said.

Many animal shelters are working with their local pet food banks and they are encouraging donations. In order to find out what shelters need or want, the most convenient and easiest way is to go to the local shelter’s website or social media.

With this situation being so unpredictable it is important for all shelters to get the resources they need in order for them to do their job. In this unprecedented time, shortages in gear for doctors and nurses to food for the shelters, make the already dire situation worse. During a time like this, donations to a local animal or homeless shelter can help more than ever.