Dear animal lover,
Here's our May newsletter, highlighting the latest news on animal rescues and animal welfare across Quebec and Ontario (click the bolded words to read the full stories). If you have any news or upcoming events you'd like us to share next month, send us an email at email@example.com.
Article of the Month
How to foster a pet properly
By: Melanie Dziengo
While being home more often now may mean you have more time to commit to a pet, it also means thinking of the long-term, and whether, once COVID-19 restrictions are over, you truly have enough time to give to a furry friend. If you don’t think you’re able to make the complete lifestyle change, fostering an animal could be right for you. Here’s how you can do it.
Find a reputable rescue or shelter.
You should always do your research on a rescue or shelter to ensure they have the animals’ well-being as their top priority. This means looking at online reviews, using word-of-mouth, or reading our article on what makes a good rescue. Doing research will also help you decide which rescue or shelter you want to work with, helping you to make the right choice for you and the animal you’ll potentially foster.
Ask yourself the right questions.
Do you have enough time? Are you able to make the commitment? Do you have enough space in your home for an animal? Will you be able to say goodbye to the animal when he/she is adopted? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before you fill out an application to become a foster parent. They will help you assess whether or not you’re ready. If you are, great! If you aren’t, that’s also fine. It just means you need to do some soul-searching, and prepare yourself more to become a foster parent.
Ensure you meet the requirements.
Each rescue and shelter will have their own rules and regulations when becoming a foster parent. You should look over their requirements before filling out an application to ensure you’re able to meet them. It will also help you see if you can rearrange your lifestyle, make changes, and open your life to a foster animal.
Congratulations! You’re a foster parent.
After you have done the above and the rescue or shelter has approved your application and assigned you an animal, you’re a foster parent. Enjoy this time you have together because the animal could go on to their forever home. But, don’t look at this negatively. It means you have made a difference in that animal’s life, and they were probably thrilled to have your love and attention. It also means you have more space to help another life, saving more animals in the long run.
Good luck! We hope you are able to foster an animal and have a positive experience doing so.
The Government of Saskatchewan declared that animal shelters are an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, they are allowed to stay open, and will be able to deal with calls for stray animals and the spring animal population boom.
While a tiger who was living in a New York zoo contracted COVID-19, a Winnipeg vet says pet owners, particularly cat owners, shouldn’t be too concerned. But, they should also remain cautious. Most of the transmission of COVID-19 is still through human-to-human contact.
Rabbit Rescue Inc. has seen an increase in the number of calls for service, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. They say they have 50 rabbits in their care, up from their usual 30. And, that number is growing, possibly because people are dumping rabbits because some organizations are closed to the public.
The Kingston Humane Society is struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have delayed an online auction until the summer, and two spring fundraisers have been cancelled. But, supporters are stepping up, bringing in some donations.
According to a survey conducted by the Saskatchewan Veterinary Medical Association, a large number of veterinarians are staying silent on suspected animal abuse; only 58 per cent have reported suspected abuse to an animal protection agency. In Saskatchewan, it is mandatory for veterinarians to report suspected animal cruelty. Some fear consequences for reporting such as uncertainty about an animal being abused and repercussions on their clinics.
A spokesperson from Humane Society International Canada says dogs, cats, and other animals will suffer as the Coronavirus continues to spread. This is because there will be fewer resources due to job loss, hospitalization, and that shelters may need assistance from the government due to an increase of animals coming into their care.
The Georgian Triangle Humane Society has established their pet food pantry into a home delivery service. They drop off free food to anyone who cannot leave their house, or those who are struggling financially, helping to provide some comfort to pet owners and animals in their time of need.
An expert in diseases that can transfer from animals to people at the University of Guelph is encouraging people to practice social distancing with their pets. Professor Scott Weese says there could be human-to-animal transfer of COVID-19. Pet owners should maintain a two metre distance between their pets and animals who do not live with them, and they should not let animals run off-leash with other dogs.
The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has established the Urgent Animal Care Fund to help support pets during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes donations for shelters who were forced to close, and help families who are facing financial hardships when it comes to caring for their pets.
Waterloo, Ontario police are warning the public after scammers used Coronavirus as an opportunity to put up a fake ad for puppies. The victim was out $500 after seeing the online ad, and the poster claimed they needed a deposit due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Guelph Humane Society is trying out contactless adoptions due to the Coronavirus. People who are interested in adopting can view the animals online, and then arrange an online meet-and-greet with the animal. Pets that have been listed online include cats, dogs, and small animals like rabbits.
With people spending more time at home due to COVID-19, there is more interest in adopting animals. However, does that mean you should? Maybe, maybe not. But, you should always think about the long-term consequences before adopting.
Researchers from the University of Calgary are looking into the possibility of people transferring COVID-19 to their pets. The infectious diseases specialists have also created a task force to determine if certain animals are more likely to contract COVID-19 than others are.
A Nova Scotia dog, who was shot in the largest mass killing in Canada, is expected to make a full recovery. A representative from Central Nova Animal Hospital says the dog, named Zoey, was treated for a gunshot wound, and that the bullet did not penetrate a layer of fat, helping her to survive.
Two cats in the United States have become the first pets to test positive for COVID-19. The cats, who live in New York State, have mild respiratory illnesses, and are expected to make a full recovery. One official, who works on human-animal health connections is encouraging people not to panic or be afraid of their pet, saying there is no evidence pets are transmitting the virus to their owners.
The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth says they have received multiple calls from people with pets who need to be boarded due to the pandemic. This includes people who are hospitalized and need someone to look after their pets. The program offers short-term housing for cats, dogs, birds, and small animals, and is run with social agencies and emergency services.
The Welland and District SPCA has started online adoptions for 12 rescue dogs who need homes. The change is due to social distancing rules, discouraging unnecessary travel because of the global pandemic. They also say when an adoption is finalized, a team member will drop off the puppy, while following social distancing rules.
The Montreal SPCA launched a campaign, calling on Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec to allow tenants to bring companion animals into their homes. This is especially so that animal shelters can continue to run on a reduced basis, preventing a catastrophe for people who may have to abandon their animals.
A Montreal researcher has found that our furry friends can help ease the isolation blues. Animals help reduce stress, and if you have a dog, going out and exercising with the dog helps psychological well-being. Furthermore, since isolation began, animal rescues and shelters have seen an increase in adoption requests.
A comedian, Chantel Desjardins, and her dog have gone viral after she posted a video of her dog singing a version of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive. The video has been shared 40,000 times and has 6,000 comments on Facebook alone.
Pet owners are turning into groomers during the COVID-19 pandemic as many groomers are closed. The CBC has tips on how you can get the job done, including “tak[ing] a break halfway through.”
Pets of the Month