MEMPHIS, Tennessee —
The coronavirus has impacted public health, the economy, and finances. Its effects have trickled down to all aspects of life. The virus has also taken a toll on animal shelters. Resources are needed now more than ever. One organization is making sure the need gets met with an emergency relief initiative.
With the coronavirus taking over our everyday lives, its effects have trickled down. Even to our furriest of friends, it can be rough.
"We are anticipating seeing a lot of pet parents have trouble caring for their pets with so many people losing income and hours. We're really worried that there's going to be a lot of people who are going to be really facing a lot of difficult decisions," said Katie Pemberton, Memphis Animal Services Community Engagement Specialist.
Pemberton said since the outbreak, Memphis Animal Services is no longer taking volunteers. They've also changed their protocol when it comes to fosters and adoptions.
"All that's done by appointment only," said Pemberton. "Our intake is emergency only. That means that pets that pose a public safety threat, we're taking them in. Pets that need immediate medical care, we're taking in," Pemberton explained. With the help of the Bissell Pet Foundation, the shelter is still able to find pets homes.
"We're doing what we can to help with the Empty the Shelter emergency relief adoption special," said Bri Olson, Bissell Pet Foundation Communications Coordinator. "This one wasn't planned. Usually it takes much more planning.
Bissell Pet Foundation is covering adoption fees at shelters across the country including Memphis Animal Services.
"They've already done 13 adoptions and have gotten 12 pets into foster homes which is wonderful," said Olson. "We just need the community to really get this because now is the best time. You're stuck at home. You have plenty of time to meet a new furry little friend."
The Empty the Shelter emergency relief runs until April 8, 2020. In the meantime, shelters still need donations such as food in order to avoid reducing portion size.