Update: A previous version of this article said new fosters are not currently being admitted due to the temporary suspension of in-person orientation. According to a statement from Miami-Dade Animal Services, the shelter is currently accepting new fosters, but they ask that they contact the foster office directly to schedule a quick one-on-one orientation first. You can contact the foster office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re fortunate enough to be holding down some form of a job from the comfort of home right now, it’s probably fair to say you still have plenty of other concerns on your mind as we bury deeper into lockdown life. Like, for instance, how do I avoid falling into a bottomless pit of anxiety? Or, what do I do with all this pent up energy?
One highly effective way of warding off the quarantine blues has the added benefit of saving an innocent life. We’re talking about pet adoption. Despite widespread shutdowns in response to coronavirus, Miami-Dade Animal Services remains open, and for good reason. Not only are there still plenty of homeless pets waiting to be rescued, but there is currently no evidence pets could become infected through contact with a person who has the virus, or could infect others. (You should always avoid handling pets if you are sick, and avoid touching animals you don’t know.)
Anyone seriously interested in adopting is encouraged to visit the shelter and meet available pets. Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the facility, and the walk-in clinic at the Pet Adoption and Protection Center continues to offer affordable vaccinations and microchipping services. There are also several off-site adoption events that remain on the schedule, but be sure to check back often as those are subject to change with short notice.
Animal Services will also continue to accept community cats presented for Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return services. If you’re interested in fostering an animal and haven’t already gone through the required fostering orientation and training sessions, you can still participate but will need to undergo a quick training and orientation by phone. Current volunteers, fosters and Kitten Cuddlers are welcome to continue their participation in those programs.
Other animal adoption centers, such as the Humane Society of Greater Miami, remain open as well with limited hours and services (call ahead to confirm). If you do make the big decision to bring a new animal into your home, remember that with lots of unconditional love and cuddles comes lots of responsibility. Do your research (you might have a bit of extra time on your hands for that at the moment) and be prepared before deciding if pet adoption is right for you.
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