At APA!, our shelter may currently be the emptiest in our history, but behind the scenes, we’re busier than ever. Since the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown, APA! has received hundreds of curbside transports from courageous volunteers sacrificing their time, energy, and security to save vulnerable animals from neighboring shelters.
The consequences of a global pandemic, such as enhanced safety precautions and regulations, and sheltering-in-place orders, have created unique pressures for nonprofits that rely on community involvement, including animal shelters. Many shelters lack the space and resources needed to care for the increased number of animals entering their facilities due to COVID, and in severe cases, they have been forced to close all together. Additionally, with everyone staying home to flatten the curve, open shelters have struggled to empty their kennels. All of these new challenges have placed vulnerable animals at risk of euthanization, as impacted shelters, shelters who have made strides in their lifesaving, are left with limited options.
Thanks to the generosity of those committed to our mission, APA! has been able to take in many of these severely at-risk lives. We are able to provide these pets with urgent medical care, a safe place to stay, and/or find a foster home for them to reside in until they are adopted.
Each day, transport volunteers arrive onsite with eager, furry passengers ready to settle in after a long and strenuous road trip. Wearing face masks and protective gloves, APA!’s essential staff wraps each animal in blankets and carries them into the safety of the shelter, where they are assessed for medical treatment and behavioral quirks. Within days, many of these transports find new families via virtual adoptions.
Jasey and her eight puppies are just a few transports that APA! has received. On April 14, superstar transporter Morgan brought this adorable canine family to APA! from the Beaumont area. After Jasey had puppies, her original owner surrendered them to a shelter that later shut down due to the coronavirus.
“Because everything’s closed right now with the quarantine, these guys were all going to be euthanized. All the puppies,” says Morgan. Now, thanks to Morgan, Jasey and her puppies will find new homes through virtual adoption and foster programs.
Santiago is another little puppy that came to APA! from a shelter in Abilene. Precious, 8-week-old Santiago was suffering from mange and multiple additional injuries. After the shelter reached out to APA! for help, Joe Peterson transported Santiago, along with a handful of other dogs and cats, to the Town Lake Animal Center. Today, Santiago is with his forever family after healing in an APA! foster home.
For these volunteers, transporting vulnerable animals is an uplifting experience that allows them to make a difference during these difficult times. “I can’t foster, I can’t do much else, [but] I can drive. I’m very good at driving,” says Peterson. “So I can take a little baby anywhere it needs to go, and get it to its new chapter.”
Keeping our on-site population low has given APA! the opportunity to support more shelters and rescues that are struggling to survive in light of COVID-19. If you’d like to help get at-risk shelter pets to their next chapters in life, please donate today.