SWFL animal shelters push for fosters ahead of gov’s order

Reporter: Erika Jackson Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:

Southwest Florida animal shelters are hoping you’ll open up your home and adopt or foster a pet, as Thursday is the last day to do so until at least April 30.

The clock is ticking because of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order, which takes effect Friday at 12:01 a.m.

Animal shelters are an essential service, and while not being forced to close, many have decided to close to the public. Therefore, adoptions and fostering will be put on hold and any animals left will have to keep waiting for a new home.

“Today is our last big shot to get people in and the animals out,” said Diana Mitchell, animal care specialist at Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County.

Shelter workers are considered essential employees, so they will continue to take care of any animals housed in their facilities. Volunteers will not be allowed to work, which means shelter pets won’t get the individual attention they usually receive.

“We’re just not going to be able to have the time to spend individually with these animals,” Mitchell said.

And most shelters will be working with skeleton crews.

“That’s essentially why we really want to get them out, so that they are not stuck here in a cage and just giving them food and water, because that’s not a great way for an animal to live,” said Dr. Kerstin Martin del Campo, director of medical services at Suncoast Humane Society.

Our furry friends deserve a little TLC – and now is an especially great time to have that companionship.

“Get your mind off of all of this stuff and just love on an animal and give them the care they need,” Mitchell said.

If you’d like to foster or adopt, here’s a list of shelters with animals available:

Gulf Coast Humane Society
COVID-19 info: https://www.gulfcoasthumanesociety.org/covid-19.html
Adoption center hours today, by appointment only: until 5:30 p.m.
Adoptable animals: https://www.gulfcoasthumanesociety.org/adopt.html
Phone: 239-332-0364

Cape Coral Animal Shelter
COVID-19 info: https://www.capecoralanimalshelter.com/update-on-our-response-to-covid-19-pandemic/
Adoption center hours today, by appointment only.
Adoptable animals: https://www.capecoralanimalshelter.com/adopt/
Phone: 239-573-2002

Suncoast Humane Society
COVID-19 info: https://www.humane.org/blog/2020/03/17/covid-19-updates-for-suncoast-humane-society/
Adoption center hours: by appointment only, open until 8 p.m. tonight
Adoptable animals: https://www.humane.org/adoptions/
Phone: 941-474-7884

The Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County
Adoption center hours today: by appointment only, open until 7 p.m.
Adoptable animals: https://www.awlshelter.org/adoptable-dogs/
Phone: 941-625-6720

Collier County Domestic Animal Services
Adoption center hours today: by appointment only.
Adoptable animals: https://www.colliercountyfl.gov/your-government/divisions-a-e/adopt-a-pet
Phone: 239-252-PETS

Humane Society Naples: Closed to the public and adoptions are closed until further notice.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.