Save Animals Abandoned Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Target: Matt Bershadker, President and CEO of ASPCA

Goal: Better prepare shelters for impact of COVID-19 spread.

Animal shelters across the country are reporting a significant uptick in abandoned or surrendered animals, despite assertions from veterinary professionals that household pets very likely cannot transmit COVID-19 to humans. At the same time, these life-saving facilities are being forced to close indefinitely because of public health concerns. Such unprecedented events have created a dangerous strain on the organizations best equipped to safeguard vulnerable, at-risk animals. Only a coordinated and united effort can keep this animal welfare crisis from expanding.

The Humane Society has shown support for overburdened shelters by supplying localities nationwide with coronavirus tool kits. Among other benefits, the kits offer guidelines and best practices for animal shelters during these trying times. One of the most vital pieces of advice involves the widespread implementation of foster contracts and fostering programs that enable community members to care for stranded animals temporarily. A facility in New York, for example, put out an emergency call for foster volunteers and received an overwhelming response. Because the shelter had a strong fostering program and online training options already on-hand, they were able to ensure the well-being of hundreds of animals that would have otherwise suffered an unknown fate.

Sign this petition to urge one of America’s most prominent animal shelter operators to enact stringent fostering programs at all its facilities as the demands on shelters continue.


Dear Mr. Bershadker,

Three Los Angeles SPCA shelters will shutter for at least two weeks, and perhaps even longer. While the animals at these shelters have been assured emergency care, as the COVID-19 crisis expands the demands for care will not only grow in LA but in shelters across the United States. You must act now before this challenging period transforms into a tragedy.

Admirable steps have already been taken, such as your efforts to stop the spread of misinformation about pet transmissibility. The Humane Society’s guidance on fostering programs could become one of the most powerful tools in getting ahead of this imminent threat. Please ensure all SPCA shelters have the necessary fostering contracts and possess the means of training foster volunteers in a remote, safe manner.

COVID-19 may pose little imminent danger to our animals, but delayed action and indifference surely will take a devastating toll. We must work together to help all living beings come through this adversity healthier and stronger.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Unicoi County Animal Shelter

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  1. Linda Hilty-Tuttle says:

    We must take care of the most vulnerable among us – that includes ANIMALS!

  2. Many of those precious pets will be abandoned or surrendered to shelters during the covid 19 crisis. This begs the question why do people adopt those animals in the first place if they have not the love or economic capacity to take care of them throughout any unforeseen emergency. We are living through desperate times but this is especially so for our most helpless and vulnerable friends our animals.

  3. Jaime Perez says:

    The innocent animals always seem to be the ones to suffer during a crisis. They deserve to be taken care of just like the humans are. People are so stupid during these trying times.

  4. Karen Redd says:

    God bless these poor poor precious babies please?

  5. They’re part of the family. They should be loved and protected, not abandoned.

  6. Anne-Mari Gavin says:

    Only 1 wish for ALL animal/children abusers – CORONA VIRUS!!!!!

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