Through these past couple of weeks, we’ve all experienced many changes in our lives and daily routines. Each day we face brings new challenges – and these challenges have impacted animal shelters everywhere. For the most part, many shelters have had success in getting pets into loving homes, but for shelters like ACS, there are many other services that we provide that have been impacted due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Current challenge animal shelters are facing:
- Animal shelter volunteer programs are temporarily unavailable. Due to social distancing guidelines, many shelters, including ACS, have had to pause all on-site volunteer programs.
- Community events and (on-site) school education programs have been postponed. Shelters rely on these opportunities to promote educational programs, host off-site adoption events, and educate community members on responsible pet care and low-cost services. With these programs at halt, shelters are unable to reach communities that are in need of these resources.
- In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, shelters have had to set temporary limitation on how and the amount of visitors that can visit pet adoption facilities.This has directly affected the amount of people that could have been potential adopters, fosters, or volunteers.
Despite these challenges, the one thing which remains consistent within our community is that we are in this together. As we continue discovering what our new “normal” in made of, let your love for animals be one of them!
So, how can you help animal shelters and pets in need during this time? We’ve created a mini-guide that lists ways you and your family can get involved.
SIGN-UP TO BECOME A (PET) FOSTER PARENT
Do you love pets but are not necessarily ready for the lifelong commitment? Join our Foster Program!
Fostering is one of the most valuable ways to help - not only does it help a pet open up and become more adoptable, but it also helps our shelter make space for other pets in need. At ACS, fostering is free and we provide everything you need to take care of your temporary friend.
Learn more about our Foster Program here: saacs.info/foster
HOST A VIRTUAL DONATION DRIVE
Many shelters are still accepting donations – including ACS! Right now is the perfect time to host a virtual donation drive. Invite your friends and family to gather newspaper, pet treats, pet toys, or other pet-related items for your local shelter. Coordinate pick-up and drop-off times (practicing social distancing) and take photos along the way! Once you’ve met your goal, share the virtual journey!
At ACS we are always in need of the following items:
- We use newspaper to line our puppy and kitten kennels. We go through hundreds of newspaper sheets on a daily basis.
- Dog and cat treats
- Used for enrichment at the shelter and for training!
- Dog puzzle toys and food puzzles
- Great for mental exercising our shelter pets
- Examples: Kong toys, slow feeders, snuffle mats, etc.
Your donations help all of our shelter pets – whether they are in the kennels, in the clinic, or in a foster home. Seasonal donation requests can also be found through our Amazon Wishlist: saacs.info/wishlist
In addition to our shelter pets, we recognize that there are also families that are facing hardships at this time. All pet food donations we receive will be shared with The San Antonio Food Bank’s Daisy Cares program, which provides free pet food for families in need. You can donate pet food directly to the Food Bank or at our ACS donation drop-off location to assist with the program. To learn more about this partnership, visit: https://daisycares.com/
All donations can be dropped off in our Annex building during our regular open hours. Mon-Fri 11am-7pm & Sat-Sun 11am-5pm
The easiest way to help is to support your local shelter with encouraging words and letting others know how they can help pets in the community! We are posting daily updates on our social media platforms and bringing our animal-loving community together. Share what you are doing to help your local shelter and spread positivity!
Facebook, Instagram & Twitter: @sanantonioacs
SHARE YOUR ADOPTION STORY
Many families are on the search to add a furry member to their family. By sharing your shelter pet adoption story, you can help advocate for the many shelter pets in need of a home. Share your pet’s adoption journey on your social media channels! Tag us (@sanantonioacs) and we may feature it as well!
ADOPT A SHELTER PET (but only if you’re ready for that commitment!)
Adding a pet to your family can have many benefits – they can help with stress, bring your family closer, and can be great company at a time where we are limited to being inside our homes.
If you’ve done your research and are ready to adopt a pet, now is a great time to do it! It’s recommended to be able to take time off when you first bring a pet home. Since many are working from home at this time, it’s perfect for getting a pet adjusted to their new life. A dog or cat needs time to decompress from being in a shelter environment. You can help your newly adopted pet open up and establish a routine.
You can get started by viewing our adoptable pets here: saacs.info/petsearch
Once you’re ready to visit our shelter, be sure to make an appointment: saacs.info/adoptions