The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting daily life not only for people, but also animals in Oregon.
In response to plans for Gov. Kate Brown’s latest “Stay home, stay healthy” order, Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center closed its adoption process.
The animal shelter is still looking for foster parents for animals, as they prepare for an increase in pets needing shelter in the future because of COVID-19.
“Fostering is the strongest tool we have to increase our ability to help pets,” Executive Director Wendy Kang said. “If you’ve suddenly found yourself stuck at home because of work or school closures, a foster pet would make a great companion. This might be a good time to give fostering a try.”
An application to foster a pet can be found online and Kang said staff will continue to work to match pets with foster parents.
Most pets that need fostering are large dogs that will require a large fenced yard or an owner willing to go on leashed walks.
There are some cats that need fostering as well.
Saving Grace is trying to reduce the number of animals at the center, as they continue to take in stray dogs or animals that need care because their owners didn’t have an emergency plan.
“If people get sick and can’t care for their pets, we need to be able to take care of them,” Kang said. “It’s part of what we do.”
Kang urged pet owners to have an emergency care plan in place for their pets, in case of illness or an unexpected event.
Prior to the adoption closure, the center had seen a drop in adoptions.
On Thursday, the center cut adoption fees in half and started curbside service and only allowing people with prior appointments to visit the animals.
Staff will continue working at the shelter and is taking additional steps to protect animals and humans from the coronavirus, such as increased cleaning and sanitizing.
“We are continuing to providing the same love and care to the animals in our adoption center as we would at any other time,” Kang said.
At this time, the pet adoption center is not taking in animals that are surrendered by their owner.