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Fostering pets while social distancing

Posted at 11:20 PM, Mar 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 02:20:57-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Pima Animal Care Center is encouraging people who are stuck at home to try fostering a pet.

Fostering is when people provide a temporary home for an animal while it waits to be adopted.

It can be just overnight or extend for months and gives shelter animals a chance to get out of the shelter and experience life in a home.

According to PACC, even short-term fostering has a positive impact on pets looking to be adopted.

"It doesn't matter how short or how long, it's really good for the pets to get out, and it's really good for them to get a chance to breathe and to stretch and feel the comfort of being in an area where they're loved by a human," says PACC's Nikki Reck.

Reck adds that taking care of a foster pet is just like taking care of any animal, and PACC will provide foster-owners with support and necessary resources.

She says fostering is so important right now because if PACC volunteers and employees get sick or quarantined, it will be a lot harder to look after animals in the shelter, especially as an influx of kittens and puppies is expected this season.

Adoptions at PACC have also slowed down due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Researchers at the University of Arizona say having a dog during self-quarantine may help protect mental health and help with feelings of social isolation.

To maintain social distancing, PACC is also offering curbside service for adoptions and fostering.

That means a staff member can bring the pet and supplies to your car or deliver them to your home.

If you're interested in fostering an animal, email pacc.foster@pima.gov. In the email, you can specify which types of animals you'd be willing to foster.