Animal shelters in need of temporary homes for pets during COVID-19 pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Animal shelters are considered essential services under the shelter-in-place orders for most Bay Area Counties. However, some of them are trying to find temporary homes for dogs and cats anyway so staff and volunteers don't have to come into work and can practice social distancing at home.

On the back patio of Sherri Franklin's Potrero Hill home, a dozen dogs visit and frolic.

Normally they, and more than 70 other dogs, would be housed at the Muttville shelter she founded in San Francisco 13 years ago. That isn't happening during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"All 80-plus dogs are all in foster homes right now because we don't want to have to bring people into work" Franklin says.

Although shelters are considered essential services, Franklin says why take the chance of exposing workers, volunteers or clients to the virus. However, for people who are feeling a bit lonely, sheltering in their homes, adoption is still an option.

"We're setting them up with appointments, 1-on-1 appointments," she says.

They're even waiving adoption fees during this emergency period.

Across the Bay in Alameda, Nathaly Neveux-Kint and her husband are getting their Shepherd Archie, acquainted with Ace, a dog they plan to foster.

"Helping for two weeks or longer, whatever works. We all have to do our parts and we can help," Nathaly says.

Ace was dropped off at the Alameda Animal Shelter because he was too rambunctious for his current owner. The shelter has found foster homes for 50 dogs, cats, and rabbits, and are still looking for homes for 15 more according to the shelter's executive Director John Lipp.

"We're trying to minimize the number of people who have to be on-site to work."

The shelter has asked about half of its 300 volunteers, many of them seniors - to stay home. The same for at least one staff member with underlying health issues. Anyone interested in fostering or adopting an older dog in San Francisco can go to Muttville's website.

In Alameda you can check out pets available for adoption at the Friends of The Alameda Animal Shelter's website.

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