Animal advocates demanded Monday that New York City shelters halt the practice of euthanizing animals due to the coronavirus — saying it’s harder for needy pets to find homes as the pandemic rages.
In one heartbreaking effect of the Big Apple outbreak, dog and cat adoption events have been canceled and fewer people are visiting shelters, leaving more adorable animals in the cold, according to Voices for Shelter Animals and other advocates.
“WE SHOULD LET THEM CHOOSE TO KILL REBEL DURING A TIME OF HUMAN CRISIS?” animal-loving sports commentator Keith Olbermann tweeted, along with a photo of a rescue pooch named Rebel. “PLEASE RT REBEL!”
Advocates say NYC Animal Care Centers should “suspend all non-medical and non-dangerous animal euthanasia” amid the outbreak — which has caused the number of workers available to help connect animals with potential loving adoptive owners to plunge, according to the VSA.
“Given the potential decline in volunteer and staff attendance and the need to both decrease intake and increase live outcomes NYC should undertake [new measures],” it declared in a press release.
It urged shelters to “facilitate communication between potential fosters and rescue animals” and allow “non-partner rescues” to help out during the crisis.
The release said the city must also make it easier for everyone to adopt pets amid the outbreak, noting officials should “suspend all landlord actions that compel tenants to surrender animals” and to “allow tenants with ‘no pets’ leases to temporarily foster animals.”
Katy Hansen, a spokeswoman for Animal Care Centers of NYC, didn’t return a request for comment. It wasn’t immediately clear how many shelter animals were on “kill” lists or how many adoption events had been canceled in recent weeks.
On Monday, the number of New Yorkers infected by the virus statewide soared to 950 confirmed, with 463 in the five boroughs.