Coronavirus: Nearly all humane society pets in temporary foster homes

The community members have opened their homes to help foster shelter pets at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton.

The shelter is now nearly empty, except for those requiring special medical care after people stepped up to help during the coronavirus crisis, the humane society announced Friday in a release.

RELATED: MeowZa Cat Boutique, humane society shelter close due to coronavirus concerns

“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,” said Brian Weltge, president and CEO of the humane society. “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.”

Earlier this week, the humane society closed its main shelter at 1611 Nicholas Road in Dayton and the MeowZa Cat Boutique at the Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. due to coronavirus concerns. It also closed the shelter to volunteers and all but essential staff through at least the end of March.

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“I felt that fostering was a small thing to do to help all of the animals and people who take care of them,” said Sandy Van Fleet, owner of Agnes & Orson and a temporary foster to Cadie the cat. “It’s a small pebble, but it can make a big ripple in the pond.”

Although all available animals are now in foster homes, the humane society is still in need of financial support. The closure of the shelter and cat boutique means an estimated loss of $285,000, the nonprofit said. For information about its online fundraiser, visit the society's Facebook page or website.

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