Local animal rescue hope social distancing will help to inspire fosters, adoptions

Published: Mar. 30, 2020 at 6:06 PM EDT
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By: Katie Kaplan | WCTV Eyewitness News

March 30, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- As millions of Americans spend more time at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, animal rescue groups are hoping to take advantage of the change in daily routine by getting people to adopt or foster.

Many nonprofit animal rescues are hurting with the cancellation of vital fundraising and adoption events.

"Reserves are running very low," said JoAnn Alford, president of

"It's rough on the organization. That means the community cats can't get spayed and neutered, and injuries, we can't take care of."

The non-profit cat rescue relies in-part on fundraising and adoptions at two upcoming events; Springtime Tallahassee and the Tallahassee PRIDEFEST, both of which have been postponed by the pandemic.

Weekly adoption events at local Petco locations have also been canceled indefinitely. Alford said adoptions over the past two weeks have come to a standstill when there generally would have been more than a dozen.

"There are so many kittens and we need homes for them," said volunteer Jen Dickinson. "It's hard to do adoptions. We're doing them by private appointment."

As they head into kitten season, Dickinson said they say are trying to think outside the box and are hoping other animal lovers will step in to help. IMON has begun posting pictures of their available felines

. The organization is hoping that social distancing will inspire some to take home a pet.

"It'll give the kids something to do," Alford told

"We actually posted on Facebook today that said if you are interested in fostering, even if it's just one, let's take them from the different organizations here in Tallahassee, it saves animal's lives."

IMON is also accepting donations of kitty litter and cat food at both Tallahassee Petco locations. Donors should look for the basket labeled 'It's Meow or Never.'

The organization said they have seen an increase in animals being dumped by people who fear they could transmit the virus.

there is no reason at this time to think that any animals, including pets, in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States.