Animal shelters ask for help to care for pets while preventing spread of COVID-19

Animal shelters across the region are juggling caring for their animals and preventing the spread of COVID-19. They're asking for the community's help to make that possible.

SCRAPS is looking for people to help foster animals from the shelter . Staff are trying to keep the number of people in the building low, but they're still doing orientations over the phone. Their hope is that if a lock down does eventually take effect in Washington state, they'll have as many animals in homes as possible.

SCRAPS foster coordinator Havalah Moran said animals are also great companions in this time of social distancing and working from home.

"This is a perfect time to just have a cuddle buddy with you," Moran said. "It's just a great time to see how your other personal pets are going to get along, but it's also giving you more company and maybe a little more to do as well."

The Spokane Humane Society is also searching for people who want to foster or adopt shelter pets . Staff said the shelter is currently open by appointment only.

Spokane Humane Society director of development and communications Terena Thi said the shelter's kennels are almost full of animals, and wants people to know an important fact about pet ownership.

"There are no links or evidence to show that animals can spread any diseases at this point, specifically with COVID," Thi said. "We want to make sure that people aren't surrendering their animals because they're fearful of that."

Both shelters said a few staff members would be on hand to take care of the animals if a lock down were to happen. SCRAPS and the Spokane Humane Society are also asking for donations of food and other supplies to help them care for shelter animals.