A lot of things have stopped because of the coronavirus. The adoption of pets is not one of them.


“We didn’t know what would happen. Every day things change.”

These bulldog brothers were offered for adoption at the Animal Rescue League in Boston last summer. Matthew J. Lee

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Shopping centers, restaurants and offices have closed. The monotonous background noise of daily grind has died down across New England as society moves away amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet apparently some things always – and always will last – do.

Consider this one.

Pets for adoption in Greater Boston have found their own stability in a turbulent time, making their way to new homes as area shelters have remained busy.

Want to adopt? You’re not alone.

The number of new adoptions somewhat surprised staff at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, which offers adoption visits to the public by appointment.

In a practically closed area, would people even venture out of their homes? Would they think of watching?

“We weren’t expecting it,” says Dr Edward Schettino, vice president of animal welfare and veterinary services. “We didn’t know what would happen. Every day things change.

At the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center, staff members create daily virtual tours of their facilities, showing their newcomers and those awaiting placement in a good home, according to Mike Keiley, director. adoption centers. and programs.

The displays are one way the center has worked to continue bringing pets to the people, amid new social distancing rules that ban visitors, he says. They attracted attention and in some cases led to a pairing.

A key part of the adoption process is about that first interaction – seeing the animal that’s about to become a family member, Keiley says.

“We had to recreate a method for people to have that experience,” Keiley told Boston.com Thursday.

“We are trying to keep the animals that have to go home, go home,” he added.

Adoptable Rhino (Boston) is here to remind you that although our adoption centers are closed to the general public, we are …

Posted by MSPCA-Angell on Thursday March 19, 2020

That’s the key right now.

Shelters are trying to downsize their pets in anticipation of an increase in the number of pets in need of shelter as the crisis continues, though details of upcoming programs are still underway. they say.

Most importantly, they want the world to know that they are here to serve pet owners and pets in these times of change.

At the ARL, Schettino, who is set to become president of the Boston ARL in May, said the league was limiting its cases of handing over animals to animals that had no other options.

A few cases have already come of students, whose pets needed a place to go after their owners had to leave their residences to return home abroad.

“It’s hard,” he said. “A lot of students are adopting or having a pet and when they get home they have yet to share the news with their families.”

For adoptions, prospective owners can view the animals available for adoption online and then can call the ARL to speak with a representative, he said. Callers are also being asked about their health and any recent international travel, as the League tries to monitor visitors.

“We are available,” he said. “We have been very busy with adoptions over the past few days. “

And adoptions – if someone finds the perfect match – are encouraged now. The ARL needs the extra space for several reasons, including if a staff member becomes ill and other animals need to be moved between ARL facilities, according to Schettino.

For those wishing to support the ARL with donations, the League does not currently accept deposits, but donors can view Amazon shelter wishlists through its website to send the necessary supplies.

At the MSPCA, adoptions – and surrenders – are currently by appointment.

The company has had to restrict the number of volunteers allowed at the facilities, although it is working to keep them informed of their whereabouts, he said.

“It was very difficult for them not to be a part of that, to help the animals get through this time, so we also sent videos of adopted animals and updates to the volunteers… just trying to keep as much hope as possible., “he said.

According to Keiley, staff members have been working on contingency plans to account for any expected increases in intake as COVID-19 rages on. Admission levels can increase even within months, he said.

In the meantime, the MSPCA is trying to find ways to help with housing and food assistance for vulnerable people and workers affected by the coronavirus.

“The goal is to keep the animals with their people as much as possible,” he said.

Although donations of lightly used supplies such as blankets and toys are not currently accepted, the MSPCA is in need of canned and dry cat and dog food to serve community outreach programs. The MSPCA website also has an Amazon Wish List and there are drop-off points outside the building as well, Keiley said.

In light of the evolving situation, ARL and MSPCA ask the public to continue to check their respective websites for the latest information.

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