These are unprecedented times for all of us. Oakland Animal Services has been rising to the challenges created by the current pandemic—and now, we need your help to ensure that no animal is left behind as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
When our community was told to prepare to shelter in place a few weeks ago, Oakland Animal Services mobilized for an extraordinary effort. Thanks to the work of our shelter’s foster coordinator—a position fully funded by FOAS donors—OAS was able to put out a call last month for foster families to empty the shelter. The response from our caring community was overwhelming. By the time shelter in place orders were in effect, nearly 100 shelter dogs, cats, and rabbits were settling into their new foster homes.
Never before has OAS placed so many animals in foster care, so quickly. And along with the unprecedented effort of dozens of foster families, we also have unprecedented expenses. FOAS is committed to raising the $10,000 needed to support this monumental, first-of-its kind, community-wide foster care effort. Donations are desperately needed to cover the costs of harnesses, crates, carriers, litter and litter boxes, beds, and toys for our more than 75 dogs, cats, and bunnies currently in foster care. [UPDATE: As we approach our third month of shelter in place, we have raised our campaign goal to $25,000.]
What’s more, kitten season is just now beginning. It’s the busiest time for our foster program in a normal year—and this year is anything but normal. Already, though, we are experiencing a wonderful silver lining resulting from these emergency efforts: animals who were extremely stressed in the shelter environment are beginning to thrive as they relax into foster homes, and 33 have been adopted since “sheltering in place” with their foster families!
Meanwhile, as you know, Oakland Animal Services is our city’s only open door shelter, accepting all animals in need. During this crisis, our shelter is working to build its capacity to ensure that there will be room for the animals of Oakland patients who may be hospitalized or unable to care for their beloved pets due to coronavirus.
In addition, OAS is playing a key role in Oakland’s COVID-19 response team. Our shelter is partnering with the City Human Services Department and the County Public Health Department to help the animals of unsheltered people who have tested positive or are at high risk for infection. As the city works to move these residents off the streets and into hotels, OAS will, through this special program, be boarding their animal companions for as long as necessary, with the hope that they can get healthy and be reunited with their pets after recovering.
Please help us raise the $10,000 needed to sustain Oakland Animal Services’ record-setting foster care efforts and COVID-19 disaster response for Oakland’s animals in need. No gift is too small. With your help, during this time of uncertainty, we will continue to create silver linings and rays of sunshine for all of Oakland’s animals. We can't do it without you!