Rochester has ‘urgent’ need for pet foster homes

Pets

A dog looks out from a cage at Auntie Ju’s shelter for stray dogs on the outskirts of Bangkok on April 6, 2020, where some 1,500 canines rescued from the streets around the Thai capital are being housed. – Donations of food and money have dramatically decreased since the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, leaving the some 1,500 dogs being housed in the shelter with little food to survive on. (Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP) / To go with THAILAND-VIRUS-ANIMAL-DOGS,PHOTOESSAY (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — City of Rochester officials say there is an “urgent” need for pet foster homes.

The city’s Animal Services shelter is seeking residents to serve as temporary foster homes in anticipation of an influx of displaced pets given that New York’s residential eviction moratorium is slated to end on August 31, city officials announced Thursday.

Up to 8 million pets could go into animal shelters across the nation over the next three months as a result of evictions, according to Human Animal Support Services.

“When people lose their homes, pets end up in the shelter,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “Our shelter simply cannot accommodate a substantial increase in animal intakes, so we need the public’s help to care for them and keep them safe. We are asking those who have secure housing to please foster today.”

City officials say an unprecedented surge of cats and dogs would be extremely problematic as this has already been a challenging summer for Rochester Animal Services. The usual busy summer season has been compounded by slowing adoption rates and fewer foster caregivers, city officials say.

Officials say pet fostering reduces shelter overcrowding and the threat of shelter euthanasia for lack of space and it gives a cat or dog a less stressful environment in which to thrive.

“Fostering is fun, easy and anyone can do it. You can take home a pet the same day you sign up and we have pets for every family and living situation,” said Chris Fitzgerald, Director of Rochester Animal Services. “Fostering saves the life of the animal in a foster home and the animal who takes their place at the shelter.”

City officials say Rochester Animal Services will provide all food, supplies and veterinary care to pets in foster homes. Cats, dogs, senior pets, pets recovering from illness or injury and pets who have been in the shelter for a long time, all need a foster lifeline—in addition to the pets whose families have been evicted.

Residents can view the pets available for foster on the shelter website at www.cityofrochester.gov/petadoption, click on the Adopt A Cat and Adopt A Dog pages and then sign up to foster at www.cityofrochester.gov/PetFosterForm.  

In addition, adopters are also needed for animals entering the shelter and for those in foster care. For people who cannot take a pet into their home, Rochester Animal Services is asking community members to donate, volunteer and help spread the word by sharing social media posts about fostering and adopting pets. 

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/VeronaStAnimalSociety or www.instagram.com/VSAS_RAS.  

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