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Tempe-based animal shelter prepares for influx of pets due to pandemic

(Facebook Photo/Lost Our Home Pet Rescue)

PHOENIX — Although animals may not be at an immediate risk to contacting the coronavirus, their lives are being dramatically impacted by the pandemic.

Lost our Home Pet Rescue expects for a tidal wave of abandonment, opportunistic adoption and poor outcomes post-pandemic when it comes to pets.

The Tempe-based pet shelter is currently preparing for evictions predicted by experts due to the ongoing economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike any other animal shelter in the state, Lost our Home Pet Rescue cares for pets for up to 90 days while pet owners deal with crises.

“And that’s where we’ve seen a lot of motion – the program is typically very busy with a waitlist, but the amount of people coming to us now is quite a bit more than usual and we haven’t even hit the part of the housing crisis,” Lost our Home Pet Rescue Founder Jodi Polanski told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

They also need foster families to ensure the shelter can continue to take in pets in crisis.

“We’re preparing for the enormous need our community will have as people find themselves without options for themselves and their pets,” Polanski added.

To keep their shelter from being too full, Lost Our Home Pet Rescue has expanded their partnerships with boarding facilities. They have also expanded their foster home program for owners who be experiencing homelessness or hospitalization.

Their goal is to ensure a safe place to temporarily house displaced pets.

Polanski founded Lost our Home Pet Rescue in 2008. After seeing the housing crisis brought on by the Great Recession, she is worried about what the next year could entail when it comes to renters and home owners who currently have pets.

“This definitely reminds me of back then, but this time around we have a lot more experience,” Polasnki said.

“We’ve been doing this for 12 years and the program is up and running much better but it’s very overwhelming to think about the place we’re in and the limited number of pet friendly rentals and the amount of people at one time that are going to be displaced from their homes.”

The no-kill shelter continues to need foster families and recurring donations so they can forecast and plan for how many animals they can take in each month, buy basic supplies and provide medical care to the pets they take in. The shelter is especially in need of those willing to foster large dog breeds.

In addition, they need donations of bleach, disinfecting wipes, and dry and canned dog, puppy, kitten and cat food.

Those with the ability to foster can email the shelter at: fostering@lostourhome.org.

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to aid the shelter’s temporary care program.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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