Over the last few months, we have unfortunately seen many local businesses and organizations shut their doors. But, PAWS Chicago never stopped helping animals in need. In fact, they actually expanded their services to support the Chicago community and their animals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the innovative ways PAWS pivoted to continue serving animals, and pet owners, in-need:
1. Moving the adoption process online
PAWS launched a virtual adoption process, so that prospective adopters could continue to help while sheltering-in-place. Their team works with adopters to go through the entire adoption process, ensuring that they match families with pets who fit their lifestyle on our five ComPETibility indicators—children, other dogs, other cats, activity level and how the pet does when left alone. A two-week foster-to-adopt period will apply to all virtual adoptions to make sure it’s the right fit for all.
Since launching on March 22, they have received over 13,200 adoption applications!
2. Virtual dog training classes through the PAWS Chicago Training Center
Virtual training gives new pet parents and dog owners the skills to train their pet and participate in something fun and educational from the comfort and safety of their own home.
3. The Mobile Pet Food Pantry
The Mobile Pet Food Pantry allows volunteers to deliver pet food to the doorsteps of vulnerable community members who might otherwise have to relinquish their pets without access to basic supplies.
4. Telehealth Veterinary Appointments
For pet owners in Englewood, West Englewood, and Back of the Yards who would otherwise have no access to veterinary services, PAWS is offering virtual appointments. Normally, the PAWS Chicago Community Outreach program serves pet owners in under-served communities through door-to-door efforts.
5. Crisis Care Foster Initiative
For pet owners who are temporarily unable to care for their pets because they have been directly affected by COVID-19, this gives them an option to foster their animals. This includes those recovering from the virus, hospital workers working around the clock to provide care for COVID-19 patients, and those experiencing financial hardship.
6. Providing online resources and information for pet-owners
With the inevitable transition back to work for some, pet-owners are worried about how their animals will cope with separation anxiety. PAWS has provided a comprehensive list of tips to help your furry friends cope with the transition.
PAWS is 100 percent reliant on the support of the community.
If you would like to learn about other ways to support the life-saving efforts of PAWS Chicago and learn more about their upcoming events, you can visit their website.
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