CINCINNATI, Ohio— While the coronavirus pandemic has certainly affected all of our lives, it also has impacted animals, especially the ones living in shelters all across the state. But, now might be the right time to lend a helping hand.

  • Shelters worry more animals will come in than leaving during the pandemic
  • Because most people are at home right now, shelter employees say right now is a perfect time to foster an animal
  • Many shelters have several options for fostering, contact them for more information

As dog and cats wait for their forever home at the Clermont County Animal Shelter, shelter employees worry the coronavirus pandemic will keep them from doing so.

“Animals will continue to come into the building," Clermont County Animal Shelter Director of Lifesaving Programs Meaghan Colville said. "We can’t stop taking stray dogs. But our biggest concern moving forward is making sure that all the animals are still leaving the building. We really need adopters.”

The worry is more and more animals will come in without people taking them home. But the shelter says you don’t necessarily need to adopt to help.

“It’s a perfect time to foster," Colville said. "I think no matter if you foster for us or foster for an organization that’s more local to you, we all need to get animals out of the building. The less animals out of the building, the less time staff and volunteers will be here cleaning and then they can get home and be safe where they are.”

Shelter employees say while people are working from home with kids out of school, fostering might be the best option. In Central Ohio, Franklin County Dog Shelter is hosting an extended foster sleepover program. But other shelters are closing their doors, including the SPCA of Cincinnati. Clermont County Animal Shelter is hoping they don’t have to do that.

“Our staff is pretty small and that’s certainly a concern," Colville said. "If one person gets sick, could it wipe out our entire staff? We’re making plans for that because no matter what happens, the animals need care.”

Employees at the shelter say they are taking every precaution to stay open including continually wiping down shared surfaces and propping open doors to limit usage. They continue to urge people to help if they can.

“If you’re at home right now and not doing anything, you’ve got the kids at home, you’ve got some time on your hands, please consider fostering," Colville said.