Families Sheltering at Home Encouraged to Foster Pets

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The Shelter-at-home order is giving families a lot more time than usual to bond both with each and with their fur babies. 

People’s pets are big winners as kids and adults hunker down at home. For those that don’t have a cuddle buddy, now may be the time to get one as animal shelters are pleading with people to foster an animal.

“We knew we needed to move animals out of our faculty to allow us to work with minimal staff on site,” said Contra Costa County Animal Services Director Beth Ward.

As the Contra Costa Animal Shelter scales back operations during the coronavirus crisis, they’re doing all they can to get animals into foster homes. They’ve completely cleared out their Pinole shelter and they’re trying to do the same in Martinez.

While pets aren’t at risk for getting COVID-19, it’s unclear whether the virus can live on their fur. 

“The rule for social distancing for humans should be the same for animals at this time,” said Ward. “So you shouldn’t be petting animals that are not part of your family just for the same reason you shouldn’t go up and shake somebody’s hand.”

Another challenge is keeping dogs clean since dog grooming services have been ordered to close.

While the Featherer Pet Grooming Shop in Benicia is still selling pet products, they’ve halted grooming. They say sprays and wipes can help keep your pet looking and smelling fresh in the meantime. 

“You want to keep them as clean and sanitary as you can,” said Karen Hubbard from Featherer Pet Grooming.

While no one’s certain how long we’ll be sheltering at home, having a pet can make a difference.

“It’ll make it a lot more fun,” said pet foster parent Angela Borchardt.

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