Recently, there has been an uptick in disasters and emergencies. During crisis, it is essential to prepare to help our furry friends and hoomans. The media highlights prep easing hooman suffering. However, animal rescues are ready for anything as well. We wanted to share how rescues prepare to help their residents, caregivers, prospective adopters, and families under financial strain.
Did you know a large chunk of the Small Pet Select Staff volunteers in rescues? Two of them assisted in the Bunderground Railroad stop at Colorado House Rabbit Society (COHRS), pictured above. Additionally, many rescues are active in Small Pet Select’s Ambassador program. For more information, you can go here to sign up.
Caring for Residents
- Foster Homes: Rescues need tons of help during crisis situations. Regrettably, some animal rescues must close their doors. However, the residents need care, so where do they go? Many such as COHRS, requested foster homes for about 140 bunnies. In "vacation" homes, the rabbits continue to get the best care possible. Relocating the rabbits also protects the volunteers, i.e., so they don’t have to leave their homes to care for the rabbits in the Bunny Barn.
- Requesting donations: If you’re unable to foster or volunteer but want to help ... donate. Rescues need supplies, enrichment items, or money. Be sure to check their websites or social media for their needs. Also, check their guidelines on how and where to donate goods.
Staying Open with Reduced Services
As a community resource, many rescues are open during emergencies. They may adjust or postpone their open hours, services, and events.
- Stray turn in and relinquishments by appointment: To control intake, rescues change to slating appointment times to control intake. This facilitates needing less staff on hand at the facility. Those staff can be better utilized in the community.
Postponing public events. Rescues delay adoption and activities until the emergency ends. This ensures the best staff use. Due to the situation, event attendance may be minimal.
- Postponing public events: Rescues delay adoption and activities until the emergency ends. This ensures the best staff use. Due to the situation, event attendance may be minimal.
- Flexible adoption procedures: Rescues want to help as many pets as possible. During emergencies, rescues find ways to continue adoptions. Adoptions free up valuable space for strays or surrenders. Much of the training transitions to electronic and online formats. This is more convenient for adopters and rescue staff. Furthermore, adoptions may shift to appointment-only.
- Shipping or drop off points for gift shop orders: Many rescues raise funds by in-house gift shops. The shops are open during disasters. Rescues plan to ship the orders to the customer if they can't come by. Also, customers pick up orders from a convenient location.
Caring for Pawrents in Need
Many rescues partner with hooman food banks to help families with pets. Providing pet food allows pets to stay in homes. Families experiencing financial hardship receive emergency food. This reduces the number of pets entering rescues. As we all know, financial difficulties happen at any time. Contact your local food bank to see what supplies you can donate.