Coronavirus: Community steps up to temporarily foster Humane Society animals

The community’s response to foster animals from the Humane Society of Greater Dayton in light of the coronavirus pandemic was so great that the facility has been left mostly empty -- save the few who need special care.

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Nearly 100% of the animals from the main shelter are now in foster homes and the shelter is nearly empty, Humane Society officials said in a prepared statement Friday. The only denizens are those that need special medical attention from the veterinary staff at the facility.

Humane Society officials this week announced they are temporarily closing their main shelter as well as the MeowZa Cat Boutique inside the Dayton Mall for the safety of their staff, volunteers and animals.

“With so many of us staying home right now, many have had the opportunity to open their hearts and homes to help temporarily foster our animals as we all navigate through these uncertain times,” said Brian Weltge, Humane Society president & CEO.

“Pets can be very therapeutic during stressful situations and we hope that our animals can lend peace of mind to people as much as the foster families lend comfort and care to the animals. It is definitely mutually beneficial.”

The facilities will be closed to the public, staff and volunteers -- who donate enough hours to equate to 37 full-time employees -- at least until the end of March, when the situation regarding the pandemic will be re-evaluated.

The Humane Society will lose an estimated $285,000 because of the closure, and the nonprofit needs donations to offer 100% of its programs and services. The organization is offering a fundraiser on its Facebook page.

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