Richmond animal shelter hopes to find temporary homes for pets during virus pandemic

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As many people are working from home and practicing social distancing, local animal shelters are calling on the community to take in a pet during this time.

Joey Simon is one of those people working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m an insurance salesman, so I normally go home to home,” said Simon.

He adopted his new dog, Beans, from Richmond Animal League Thursday.

“We’ve been thinking about getting a dog anyway, but we decided if we’re all going to be home, now would be a great time,” he said.

Richmond Animal League is also looking for people to foster animals during this pandemic. The shelter took to social media and the community responded.

“As of today, we’ve had 157 people who have filled out our emergency form, which is tremendous,” said Executive Director Elizabeth Thomas.

All of the pets in the shelter will be in a foster home by the end of Thursday, which means there will be more room for animals to come in from nearby animal control departments.

“By having an empty shelter, it’s giving us that space that we can continue to help them,” Thomas told 8News.

She said that having an animal at home can be helpful to anyone who is practicing social distancing.

“Our pets are really giving us that opportunity to be connected, to have someone to talk to in the morning when you get up if you’re working from home,” said Thomas.

Simon said adopting “Beans” is a silver lining during this unprecedented time.

“She’s going to get time to get to know us. We’re not out working, the kids aren’t at daycare, so we’ll all be home. She’ll get to know us, get to spend time with us, get to bond,” Simon said.

Richmond Animal League is also offering “drive by” foster pick ups, where they bring the animal and supplies to your car. The shelter is still asking for people to fill out foster applications online because they expect to soon take in more animals in need of a home.

You can also check other local shelters near you, like Richmond Animal Care and Control, to foster or adopt an animal during this time.

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