Collateral Damage Pets Get a Rescue Plan

A substantial part of the crisis surrounding the viral outbreak in 2020 has been many people losing their jobs or having their hours cut so dramatically that they are unable to make rent.  There was a temporary reprieve for people in this situation but now the deferments that have been in place for the past eight months are coming to an end in many communities, and people–and their pets–are facing the real possibility of being homeless.  (While the federal eviction moratorium does not expire until the end of December, many landlords have already begun the first step of the eviction process–sending tenants a notice to quit.) Fearing the real possibility of living in their cars or homeless shelters, some pet owners are considering surrendering their pets to animal control–a fate that can mean their beloved family member may be euthanized.  It is a difficult, highly stressful decision that at least one organization is working to avoid.

The Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston plans to try to keep a roof over the heads of the Boston area’s animals, offering anyone now facing eviction the chance to temporarily put their furry friends up in a foster home.

“At the core of its mission, ARL believes in keeping people and pets together, and is offering temporary shelter for animals whose owners may be experiencing housing instability or may be at imminent risk of homelessness. This is an imperative service for individuals facing eviction due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Animal Rescue League says the first step for anyone looking to enroll in the temporary-housing service is to call whichever Rescue League spot is closest: Boston at 617-426-9170 x140, Dedham at 617-426-9170 x404, or Brewster 617-426-9170 x306.

Animals can stay for up to 120 days, and owners must agree to the parameters of a conditional surrender of the pet, including maintaining bi-weekly check-ins. (source)

We hope that other communities will follow the lead of the Animal Rescue League and establish their own local temporary foster program especially for pets that have become collateral damage of the economic crisis resulting from the virus and the subsequent lock-down.