STATEWIDE — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues some animal shelters are seeing community support decrease.
The Lexington Humane Society reached out to lawmakers hoping to drum up donations.
“As soon as the COVID-19 stuff hit, they saw a drop in the donations and a spike in the need for the food they gave out,” said Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson, D-Lexington.
The Lexington Humane Society says they need all types of donations to help the dogs and cats in their community.
“Anytime we see an extreme change in our normal day to day life, organizations that rely on the general public to sustain what their organization does, they are going to see this drastic drop,” Stevenson said.
It’s not just donations that shelters need — many shelters and rescues are hoping Kentuckians can lend a home to a furry friend.
“The biggest need I think for any group in the state right now would be for folks to come in and either adopt or foster a pet and do so with the understanding that we don’t really know how long this is going to be for but you are going to be giving this huge gift to the animal by getting them out of the shelter” ” said Kat Rooks, Kentucky Initiative Director for the Kentucky Humane Society.
Food, litter, cleaning supplies and monetary donations are also appreciated.
“A lot of had revenue-generating programs that had to be shut down for the moment so any financial donation no matter how small is going to help for the care of the animals,” Rooks said.
While it may be hard for people to donate financial items, shelters still need people to donate their time.
“Animal welfare organizations usually operate with one or two fewer employees than we really need, so when we have those groups that have very, very small staff, volunteers are an absolutely integral part of this, and there is almost always something for folks to do if they got free time and got the desire to help,” Rooks said. “Each shelter will be able to direct how best direct that assistance.”
As more people are seeing financial strain as a result of the pandemic, the Kentucky Humane Society remains committed to keeping animals in homes by setting up animal food banks to donate food to families in need.
“In a time where the world is really scary and stressful and seems like anything can change in a moment, the more we can do to support folks to keep this particular relationship in tack and remove the threat of having to say goodbye to a family member in an already horrible and trying time that’s truly some good that we’re putting out there,” Rooks said.
To find how you can help or where you can get help head this spreadsheet