CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Staff at the Clermont Animal Care Humane Society worked long hours Monday to get all its pets adopted due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Twenty cats and 40 dogs were in their care at the start of the adoption event. Nearly all of them have since been placed in foster homes or adopted.
The shelter is now adding names of potential fosters or adopters to a waitlist.
Tyler Schulz fostered one of the dogs.
“We just saw the opportunity, and we thought now would probably be the perfect time,” he said. “They’re closing down, and there’s going to be a lot of animals that don’t have homes.”
With Ohio now under a ‘Stay-at-Home’ order to prevent the spread of virus, the shelter is now open on an appointment-only basis.
Animals will continue to come in, though, so staffers want to make sure animals are still leaving too, especially since they and other local rescuers say they fear they could end up full during the pandemic.
“Nobody knows how long this is going to go on,” Director of Life Saving Programs Meaghan Colville said. “A lot of people are losing their jobs, so we’re preparing that if intakes go up and outcomes go down, that means we’ve got to keep animals moving."
Not only will animal control officers still be picking up strays and lost animals in the county, Colville says they are worried financial troubles may cause people to panic and abandon their animals.
“We absolutely want people to keep their pets,” Colville said. “If there’s something we can do to help, we’re going to figure it out and find a way.”
The shelter is encouraging pet owners to reach out for help and look for resources before making any drastic decisions regarding their pets.
Alyson Ginn, who fostered a kitten at the event, says there’s nothing she wants more than a cuddly companion during this COVID-19 crisis.
"I definitely think that having an animal at home could help keep you company and stave off that depression that you can get when you're not having any companionship,” Ginn said.
Shelter leaders also want pet owners to know that dogs and cats cannot contract the coronavirus and then become contagious with it. However, they say if someone who is sick with COVID-19 were to sneeze or cough on a pet, germs could linger on the animal’s fur or skin.
The shelter is always looking for more people to foster or adopt animals. To learn more, visit the humane society’s website.