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Animal shelters encouraging people to foster pet during pandemic



CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Animal shelters around the Tri-State are closed but still encouraging families to foster a pet.

Homeless animals fill the kennels at Cincinnati’s SPCA. It's unfortunately a normal day for them, but not the shelter's staff. Mike Retzlaff with the SPCA said volunteers are staying home.

“We are trying to keep as low key as possible, as few people in the facilities,” said Retzlaff.

There are more than 500 animals at the shelter. Because of Ohio’s stay at home order, none of them are up for adoption, but that does not mean families cannot take one home.

“They're sitting at home now. Probably not at work. They have time on their hands, so why not foster a dog?” said Retzlaff.

Brad Pearson is taking advantage of his rare time at home. With a busy work schedule, this is a perfect opportunity to foster the dog he has always wanted.

“He's reduced my stress level a lot. I would have gone crazy in the quarantine and would be going crazy right now, but I'm able to get outside and take him to the park,” said Pearson.

The SPCA said families do not have to foster animals for a long period of time.

“I think a lot of people are nervous and scared with everything that's going on. A dog that doesn't really know what's going on and just happy all the time brings some joy to the house,” said Pearson.

During a time of uncertainty, core staff is working hard to make sure the animals are being cared for.

“They've really stepped up to fill in the void that has been left by fewer volunteers here. They've just done a tremendous job,” said Retzlaff.

The SPCA is asking for essential donations. It needs leashes, harnesses, toys, crates, beds, blankets and lots of cleaning items.

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