© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Shelter Dogs, Cats Relocated During Coronavirus Pandemic

Erik Neumann | JPR News
Sam the dog would normally be staying at the Jackson County Animal Shelter, but he has been relocated to a foster home while the shelter's front offices are closed.

Animal shelters rely on volunteers for much of their staffing. So when those volunteers need to stay home, what can shelters do with their dogs and cats? The answer appears to be foster parenting.

Animal shelters across Oregon, including the Jackson County Animal Shelter, are looking for people who can temporarily foster pets until they’re adopted.

“That helps by getting the dogs out of the shelter, which means we have less to do at the shelter in terms of cleaning the cages, walking the animals, feeding them,” says Tilly Gibbs, president of Friends of the Animal Shelter, a nonprofit group that supports the Jackson County shelter.

JPR reporter Erik Neumann interviews Sam, a foster dog in Ashland that is currently up for adoption.

So now dogs and cats that would normally be staying in cages at the shelter are now cozying up in people’s homes. The shelter is primarily looking for people who can foster big dogs right now, but Gibbs says kitten season is fast approaching, so they’ll soon be looking for kitten foster parents.

Gibbs says due to lack of capacity, animal shelters are limited in the pets they can receive.

“There are on occasion animals that are surrendered by an owner who can no longer take care of them. We, unfortunately, cannot accept those animals right now,” Gibbs says. “The only animals that are coming into the shelter right now are those that we are required by law, basically, to bring in.”

She says people who need to surrender a pet will need to get creative by finding a friend or family member to take them.

Meanwhile, people who want to adopt a pet will have to go online and set up an appointment to meet a specific cat or dog.

Gibbs says community members can help their local shelters by fostering a pet, adopting one online, or donating supplies or money.

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Prior to joining OPB, she was a news host and regional reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.