Fostering Pets During Quarantine

Pictured above is Mason (10), Dia Chiusano’s foster pet

Tempe Quinton: How did the adoption process work? 

Dia Chiusano: My parents filled out an application, and since we said we were willing to take in a senior dog, they got back to us very quickly (the next day!). Because Mason got a vaccination, we had to wait 10 days before getting her because we didn’t want to expose our other dog. They then dropped her off at our house so the whole process took a little less than two weeks. 

Since quarantine began there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of people fostering animals. One shelter, The Dallas Animal Services, said that they had placed over 100 pets in foster homes when during this time last year, less than 20 had been placed. The process to adopt and foster pets has also changed, for instance, shelters will now drop off pets by meeting you outside of your house, in addition to taking other precautions such as staff members having to wear gloves. A majority of the interactive parts of fostering or adopting a pet have been altered to be virtual in order to take the necessary health precautions, though animal shelters are still trying to make sure that pets go to safe homes. Some precautions to make sure that the pet is going to a safe home is through setting up Zoom meetings, virtual house tours, and sometimes they may ask for references, like asking a vet for a reference if you currently have a pet. Another reason for taking these precautions is because people who run dog fighting rings are able to take advantage of situations like these and exploit shelters. 

Furthermore, even though these animals are being placed in temporary homes this still helps shelters tremendously and can even save these animals lives. Due to the pandemic, shelters have tried to reduce the number of people working together at the shelter, but the reality of the situation is that shelters have hundreds of animals that need to be taken care of multiple times throughout the day. The more people that foster and adopt animals, the less people will have to work at the shelter to take care of them. Additionally, city shelters have regulations that make it so they have to euthanize animals if the shelter becomes overcrowded. 

Lastly, fostering or adopting a pet can help comfort people during this difficult time. Fostering pets has also shown to help lessen people’s anxiety by allowing them to not solely focus on the pandemic. Additionally, having pets in the house has made people feel less lonely as foster pets provide a furry and lovable companion to help you get through this time. Some people even see foster pets as a sign of hope. 

Tempe Quinton: What is your favorite part about fostering an animal?

Dia Chiusano: I think my favorite part is being able to see her get comfortable around us and our home. It’s really nice to know that she is much happier here than she would be in the shelter or an unsafe home. Little by little, she’s becoming an amazing part of our household and we’re so happy we’re able to give her a nice few last years.