At the beginning of the pandemic, shelters rejoiced as people who were stuck at home began adopting dogs to keep them company. Now, however, as economic hardships are hitting home, some are being forced to surrender their dogs.
The ASPCA estimates 24.4 million animals will soon be living in poverty with their families due to the virus, a 21% increase since February. ASPCA research shows that a lack of affordable veterinary care and limited access to spay/neuter services are important potential contributors to pet relinquishment. They have launched programs and partnerships in Los Angeles, Miami and New York City to make veterinary care more accessible and affordable.
The $5 million COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative was launched in March to bring lifesaving services to pet owners and animals most in need and provide $2 million in grant funding to more than 50 animal welfare organizations across 30 states. As part of its response effort, the ASPCA launched regional pet food distribution centers in several cities to provide more than 1,800 tons of emergency food for dogs, cats, and horses to struggling owners. By providing access to free pet food, supplies, veterinary care, emergency boarding and information, the ASPCA is comprehensively addressing the most urgent needs of pet owners and animal shelters across the country, helping to keep animals safe and healthy. Since launching its COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative, the ASPCA has helped more than 268,000 dogs, cats and horses across the country.
If you haven’t been economically impacted by the coronavirus, please consider donating to your local shelter or pet food pantry.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!