03/24/20 How to adopt a dog or a cat during the coronavirus pandemic
Animal Friends are bringing instructions for adopting animals during the pandemic
- Shelters are desperate, begging citizens to continue adopting animals
Due to the recommendation to minimize social contact, shelters for abandoned animals, of which there are more than 40 in Croatia, had to close their doors to visitors. This automatically reduced the number of adopted animals, but not the number of animals coming into shelters. This is particularly due to irresponsible individuals who leave their former best friends or do not castrate their animals but throw their offspring on public land.
"Yesterday when we arrived at the shelter we were greeted by a pregnant dog tied to a fence who should give birth within ten days. A few days ago, we got seven puppies just a few days old that we now feed by bottle every few hours. In the last two months alone we have received 70 puppies for care”, the Zadar shelter is desperate. The same news about the ruthless and selfish behavior of citizens come from other shelters across Croatia.
Therefore, the Animal Protection Network, which brings together more than 50 animal welfare organizations, is urging everyone not to increase the huge problem of abandoned animals and crowded shelters by uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats under their care. "We emphasize that shelter is not a good place for any dog, and especially not for puppies whose mortality in shelters is extremely high. Dogs in shelters do not have the luxury of being quarantined from foster care. We, therefore, urge citizens not to abandon animals, to adopt dogs and cats instead of buying them, and to help shelters by acting responsibly so that they can continue to rescue animals. Show solidarity instead of being the cause of the problem”, said Animal Friends, who coordinate the work of the Animal Protection Network.
They also add that many shelters from Croatia find forever homes for dogs under their care in Germany and other Western European countries. This number even goes up to a dozen dogs a month. However, now that the borders have been closed and adopting of animals from abroad has been stopped, shelters that have relied on such foster homes will not be able to find homes for new dogs and adoption of dogs should never stop!
Although the shelters are closed to visitors, animals can still be adopted, as this will make more space for the animals who are still waiting for their place in the shelters. Shelters have photos of dogs on their websites and social media, as well as dog descriptions and all their information, and will be happy to arrange anything for foster care via email and phone. All necessary arrangements can be made before handing the animal to the adopter and the adoption itself can be carried out in accordance with physical distance measures and with protective equipment.
"We expect all shelters to publish the protocol for adopting dogs during the coronavirus pandemic, which will include sending adoption contracts via e-mail and handing over the dogs to their adopter following all measures ordered. We have sent a suggestion of such a protocol to every shelter and they are free to use it”, said Animal Friends. They warn citizens to keep in mind that every shelter worker and volunteer is immensely important because, if one gets infected, the others have to self-isolate and then there is no one to take care of the animals.
They also remind us that the time we are all forced to spend at home now can be used to bond with the adopted animal. We all need some positive energy and doing good deeds, which helping such a vulnerable group as abandoned animals certainly is, can be a form of therapy.