Thursday, March 26, 2020

We Can All Save Pets in this Difficult Time

At SVPP, we are rescuing an extraordinary number of pets from the San Jose shelter right now. In fact, we've rescued 25 dogs, cats and kittens since March 1. But, the strain on the
system is immense. Due to Covid-19-related public health mandates, the municipal shelter is closed to the public. Pets that normally would have exposure, human interaction and adoption opportunities are now hunkered down in shelter facilities while humans work to flatten the coronavirus curve. So, we are rescuing en masse.

A good chance for these pets to have a loving forever after is to get them out of the shelter and into foster care. A better chance is to keep them out of shelters all together.  

Here are some steps we can take to make sure we don't increase shelter intake at this difficult time.
  • Make sure your pet is chipped.  This is the best way to insure that a lost pet can be reunited with its owner. Most vets and many local low-cost vaccination clinics provide this life-saving service. A microchip is painlessly inserted in your pet and the its unique ID number, along with your contact information, is registered with a national pet database. Check to see if your vet or clinic can provide the service at this time.
  • Consider fostering, especially if you are working from home.  The need is immediate and the options are great — dogs, cats, kittens — whatever pet best works for you, your family and your space.  You can even foster to adopt. Think of it as a heart-felt test drive! 
  • Life plan for your pet. Determine, in advance, who can step in to care for your cat or dog in the case of illness or some other circumstance that renders your normal care unavailable. Ensure that the person of your choice is comfortable — and committed — to following through if needed.
  • If you have to rehome your pet, use the many resources available to get your pet situated with another loving family vs. surrendering it to a shelter and putting it at risk.  SVPP has a page of information and resources on its website.  It turns out that one of the best opportunities to rehome a pet is with, a website and mobile application that allows you to connect and communicate with neighbors in your local community.  You can post photos, have on-line discussions, meet potential adopters, and maybe even rehome your pet with someone in the hood. Another great rehoming resource also listed on the SVPP website is  The experts at Adopt-A-Pet and the Petco Foundation provide a process that can help owners rehome their pets.  Adopt-A-Pet is the country’s largest non-profit adoption website.

Most importantly, in this stressful and challenging time, be there for your pets and each other.  We can save more lives together.

Karen Zamel is a long-time SVPP volunteer and is now a member of the communications team.

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