County animal shelters making safety adjustments amid COVID-19 pandemic

Pets need fostering as shelters prepare for influx of animals

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is forcing South Florida's animal shelters to make some changes.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The ongoing COVID-19 crisis is forcing the Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department to make some changes.

The shelter remains open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, but its biggest current need is foster families.

More than 100 pets were fostered last week, but the shelter still has about 300.

Measures being taken at the facility include limiting the amount of people allowed inside.

"We have hand sanitizing stations located throughout the shelter," said Miami-Dade Animal Services Asst. Director Kathy Labrada.

The shelter is cancelling spay and neuter surgeries, but it is still responding to animal cruelty complaints.

They are also urging people to foster due to concerns of an influx of animals in need of help.

"What we're trying to do is make room for the expectation that we will see an increase in the number of pets coming into the shelter as a result of owners perhaps being hospitalized or having illnesses within their own families and no one left to care for the pets," said Labrada.

The process of fostering is easy.

Send the shelter an email, set up an appointment and you'll be able to take a pet home in no time.

"We'll provide the materials that you need," Labrada said. "A couple food bowls."

In Miami-Dade, if you are unable to foster, you can help by donating supplies through their Amazon wish list, which can be found by clicking here.

In Broward County, volunteers received a letter notifying them the shelter will be closed to the public and volunteers.

Adoptions and fostering will be conducted online.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.