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More than 100 dogs put in foster care due to COVID-19 outbreak; vets see uptick in visits

Posted at 5:51 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 21:54:11-04

HEWITT, TX — As the coronavirus continues to spread, there are growing concerns for local animal shelters and veterinary clinics across the U.S.

The Humane Society of Central Texas is seeing a big increase in people fostering pets, with more than 100 now in foster care.

“People that are cooped up in their home, and there is nowhere we can go and we cant see friends.. I mean who wouldn’t rather cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie with their dog,” said Paula Rivadeneira.

The surge in foster households couldn’t come at a better time.

Growing unemployment tied to the pandemic means there are more animals coming in to animal shelters too.

“We are really trying to convince people to keep their animals at home if they think they do need to surrender them, instead call us. Lets talk about it to see what it is that is making you think you need to give up your animal and maybe there are some resources available," said Paula Rivadeneira.

Dr. Dodson from Hewitt Veterinary Hospital says they have seen an increase in new puppy and kitten exams.

“We normally see an uptick in the spring and summer, but I think because more people are at home and they have the time and they're thinking about getting a pet, it might be good time to get one because you are home an can start training and taking care of it,” said Dr. Kristin Dodson.

Like medical staff on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight, vets and their staffs are operating with far fewer supplies than normal.

“Veterinary offices are being asked to neglect or delay elective procedures, elective surgeries to try to conserve surgical supplies and stuff like that for human hospitals and we have kind of changed how were operating right now to conserve supplies as needed,” said Dr. Kristin Dodson.

You can contact Hewitt Veterinary Hospital at (254) 666-5050 if you have any further questions.

If you would like to adopt or foster an animal, you can contact the Humane Society of Central Texas at (254) 754-1454 or at www.humanesocietycentraltexas.org.

The Humane Society is now booking appointments to look at animals and posting updated animals up for adoptions daily.