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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

'Stay-at-home' order means pet sheltering and adoption is up

IndyHumane said since last Tuesday, about 150 people have responded to their call for fostering.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Within a few minutes of each other, two cars pulled up to IndyHumane.

Both were coming to pick up foster dogs.

“Usually, I’m a sportswriter. I travel all the time and obviously now I can’t do that,” Brian Snow said.

With the "stay-at-home" order in place starting Wednesday and sports on hold, Snow said he thought it was “the perfect time to foster.”

Social distancing may mean that people must stay at least six feet apart from one another. But that rule doesn’t apply to pets.

Which is why shelters say fostering and adoptions are up since public health officials advised a stay-at-home policy.

“Just someone to walk with, someone to hang out with, you know just a companion around the house, something to do that’s in theory, good,” added Snow.

IndyHumane said since last Tuesday, about 150 people have responded to their call for fostering.

Marion-Grant County Humane Society said their focus is to “shelter and house.” So they don’t have many fosters but as of Monday, they’ve had six adoptions.

“Some weeks it may just be three (adoptions). Some it may be ten. But this week it’s six” in just two days said Christy Bernardin, Board member of the Marion Grant County Humane Society.

While Marion Grant County Humane Society has seen a rise in adoptions, Indy Humane adoptions “are down.”

And without knowing how long this pandemic may exist, “the length of stay is what’s primarily of concern,” he added.

“We try to turn our animals every ten to twenty days and get them into new homes. And if we’re not going to be able to do that, then we want them in homes while they’re waiting for their forever home,” said Horth.

Fostering a cat or dog from IndyHumane is at no cost.

There are veterinarians on site and IndyHumane covers veterinarian expenses and has pet food available for homes fostering one of their dogs or cats.

“They just have to be able to house and love the animal,” said Horth.

The way people adopt or foster a dog has also been impacted by public health guidelines. No longer can potential pet owners or fosters walk in and see all the pets, they now have to search online.

“Most are from petfinder or they see them on facebook. We share an animal daily. And if they decide they want to go ahead and adopt we will assign them an appointment,” said Bernardin.

Indyhumane has dogs and cats available.

Snow said he picked his foster dog Kermit online and “couldn’t be happier to bring him home.”

“I grew up with dogs (like him) and it looked like a good match and I think it’ll be good,” Snow said.

He said the process was very easy and all in the information on how to foster was sent to him.

“They do like an hour long training where they introduce you to what you do, and what the process is, and then a plea is sent to you via email and I think you get to see about 15 or 20 dogs, pictures, and descriptions, and then you just fill out a form and they get back to you right away,” Snow said.

While both IndyHumane and Marion Grant County Humane Society said more people were taking pets into their home during the stay-at-home order, they both said the public health order is hurting them financially.

Marion-Grant Humane Society has had to close their resale shop which is their primary source of funding because of the CDC guidelines.

“Honestly, we’re struggling at this point,” said Bernardin.

“We’ve obviously had to cut our workforce down,” she added. They’ve also cut back on non-essential veterinarian services.

“We have some reserve that we’re working with. We did set up a facebook fundraiser the other day and we’ve made $1,000 through that. We also have a paypal account for anyone who wants to help us in this time of need,” she added.

IndyHumane said this “in this time of fear our giving has dropped significantly. At this time we especially need it. It’s expensive to operate an animal shelter.”

IndyHumane said they are accepting donations on their website.