JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Social distancing is changing how the world operates and animal shelters are no exception to the new order.
For the Jacksonville Humane Society (JHS), that means reducing the number of staff members in the building, altering previously planned events, and changing how fostering and adoptions are done.
Just over the weekend, JHS held its largest yearly event “Mutt March” online.
“They sent us pictures of themselves participating so it was a great day for the community for everyone to kind of show up in their own way safely from a distance. And the event turned out great. We met our fundraising goal so we’re excited and appreciative of that,” Lindsay Layendecker, Jacksonville Humane Society Assistant Development Director said.
The shelter says it is still open for adoptions and fostering, but is available by appointment only. While Layendecker admits the going is tough right now, this could be the perfect time to foster or adopt a furry friend.
“If you’re looking for that companionship I would definitely suggest that you foster or adopt during this time. It’s a great time. Fostering is a temporary way to help. And so not only will you be helping a pup but you’ll have some temporary love in your house. Especially if you’re stuck inside. Especially if you’re by yourself you know there’s no greater joy than having a pet in your home so why not take this chance this opportunity and open it up to a pet in need,” she said.
At this time, 70% of the shelter's animals are in foster homes.
The shelter is not at ease yet as they’re working to sign up more volunteers for the approaching kitten season.
“Last year and the year before we took in 4,000 under-aged kittens that have to go into foster homes. So we are still meeting that need in the community so we still meeting that need in the community so we still need foster parents to come in and take them from us,” said Layendecker.
With a limited staff, they urge people to not bring in kittens at this time, the shelter needs to be the last resort.
Jacksonville Humane Society is the only shelter in Clay and Duval Counties still taking in stray animals. While the shelter is committed to keeping their mission going, they’re asking the public not to bring in kittens unless it is the absolute last resort.
If you want to help but can’t adopt or foster, JHS said it is accepting donations of all kinds moving forward.