The San Francisco city pound turns its back on abandoned kittens during the coronavirus pandemic. Tragically, they are not the only ones as pounds across the country are closing their doors or otherwise abandoning their mission by hiding behind the advice — or the lead — of national groups such as the ASPCA, the National Animal Control Association, and Million Cat Challenge. Other animals are suffering, too, including in zoos and on farms (more so than usual). But there are bright spots as progressive shelters across the country are embracing ingenuity, a “can do” attitude, and technology to save the animals with unprecedented results. Many are completely empty for the first time in their history thanks to adopters, foster parents, and rescuers.
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While hospitals and others on the front lines of the current pandemic work heroically to care for people, national “animal protection” groups and many local “shelters” which should likewise be on the front lines for animals, are instead abdicating their responsibilities. For example:
- The San Francisco city shelter, which has been closed for adoptions since early March, announced that it will follow the advice of the National Animal Control Association and no longer rescue kittens “of any age” even if they are abandoned on the streets.
- While Million Cat Challenge, a community cat advocacy organization, tells rescuers not to do TNR and the ASPCA shuts its doors to most animals, local pounds are following their lead and telling residents who find lost dogs on the side of the road to handle it themselves or let them loose, abandoning their mission and increasing the burden of individuals and rescue groups who are trying to pick up the slack.
- Maddie’s Fund is fearmongering about COVID-19 and animals and local and national news media are likewise making the situation worse by reporting that “cats can catch coronavirus.” But such headlines obscure more than they illuminate and a closer reading of the study they rely on does not support the emphatic claims.
Tragically, dogs and cats are not the only animals in peril. A German zoo, for example, is threatening to kill resident animals and feed them to other resident animals.
But there are some bright spots. Across the country, progressive shelters are embracing ingenuity, a “can do” attitude, and technology to save the animals, while also protecting the public and shelter workers during the pandemic.
In related news:
- The La Porte (TX) Animal Shelter is “completely empty after residents and local animal rescue groups cleared the cages of adoptable animals” .
- The cat cages are empty in Brenham, TX, for the first time “as residents flocked to the local animal shelter to help foster animals during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic” .
- At Pinellas County Animal Services, the “dog adoption program is completely adopted out…”
- “The Lubbock [TX] Animal Shelter said adoptions at the shelter are at an all time high…”
- A Florida shelter “that’s normally packed with stray and abandoned dogs was filled instead with cheering staff and volunteers because all of the animals have found new homes”.
- And Mountain City, TN, saw its animal shelter cages emptied. “All of the former residents were either adopted or on transport to another rescue”.
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