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Love during lockdown

Statewide order puts strain on local animal shelters, community steps up to foster

  • 1 min to read

With the statewide stay-at-home order announced last week, Calaveras County animal shelters have not been spared from disorder and confusion.

However, six local families answered the Calaveras Humane Society’s call on March 19 to take in six puppies who were unexpectedly received at their Angels Camp shelter that same day. The puppies were picked up on Saturday to be fostered by the families “indefinitely, until this situation is resolved,” Dee Dee Drake, Executive Director of the Humane Society told the Enterprise Tuesday.

Drake has been warmed by the “overwhelming response” her organization received when they posted their plea for foster families on Facebook and Instagram last week. The shelter has been moving as many of its animals as possible into foster homes, with COVID-19 mandates slowing intake and adoptions.

Currently, there are seven cats, two chinchillas, three bunnies and one dog remaining.

“The public has been wonderful. We’ve been getting lots of offers,” Drake said. “If anyone is interested in fostering a cat or two, absolutely contact us.”

Those interested in fostering can call the Humane Society at 736-9417.

The Humane Society continues to provide animal food for their pets in foster care, as well as anyone signed up for their Pet Food Bank, which is the only program that continues to operate fully through the organization.

“Hundreds of pets rely on that program for food. We just can’t let them down during this time of need,” Drake said.

At the county-run Animal Services shelter in San Andreas, foster care for animals is not permitted. Doors have been closed to the public and pet surrenders have been suspended until further notice, but the agency will continue offering “limited services” to the community via phone or in-person appointments, Director Evan Jacobs told the Enterprise.

Those services include:

1. Emergency services such as injured strays, dangerous or vicious animals, potential rabid animals, animal bites and quarantines.

2. Assistance of stray animals. All strays must be reported via phone to the shelter and will be taken in case by case. Animal Services will not allow drop-offs of stray animals without prior arrangement, and will not be taking in any trapped, healthy stray cats or return-to-field cats at this time.

3. Returning of owned animals or quarantines must be done by appointment only.

4. Dog licensing will be done by mail only.

5. Walk-in adoptions are limited to one person at a time. Animal Services will be posting available animals on Facebook and petfinder.com.

Those seeking services or looking to adopt should contact Animal Services via phone before visiting the shelter, at 754-6509. Business hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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