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Labrador retriever puppies, a one-year-old foxhound mix named Daisy and a 3-year-old collie mix named Chase are among dozens of dogs on Long Island in need of temporary and permanent homes amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Ruff House Rescue in Island Park and Last Chance Animal Rescue in Southampton are asking for volunteers to take home their foster dogs for two- to three-week periods (or longer) while people may find themselves with extra time at home.
“We are 100 percent in need of homes for our animals,” Diane Rose, Ruff House Rescue founder and director, said Tuesday. Her volunteer-run shelter was scrambling to find placement for dozens of pets, including Labrador puppies and more senior dogs.
With the advised restriction against gatherings of more than 10 people, Ruff House's previously scheduled adoption events at local pet stores have been canceled, leaving animals little opportunity to find homes. Three-year-old Chase, who just had hip surgery, is among them.
“He’s a sweetheart. He’s mostly crate-rested. He spends most of his time lounging around,” said Rose, of Long Beach.
“If the flow of adoptions is going to be inhibited right now, at least we can get them to foster homes. The animals are going to be affected. We need people to be cognitive of that and help if they can.” Rose said she plans to organize curbside adoption events with limited contact via her shelter’s mobile van.
Other shelters are also facing a serious need.
“This is not territory we’ve been through, except maybe during Hurricane Sandy,” said Linda Sturman, president of Last Hope Animal Rescue in Wantagh, which stopped taking incoming animals as of Tuesday and had to close its adoption center to the public.
For Last Hope, that means hustling to create online adoption profiles for all of the animals still in its care, which Sturman estimates to be at least 100 cats and 20 dogs.
Jude Langmaid, vice president of Last Chance Animal Rescue, said her shelter is feeling a similar sense of urgency. “We are in desperate need of fosters.”
“For a single person working from home, what a great way to have company during a time that may feel very isolating,” Langmaid said. Last Chance is looking to place five to 10 dogs in foster homes per week.
Daisy, a 1-year-old foxhound mix who’s “playful and good with other dogs,” is among those currently in need.
“We are dealing with shelters that were already at or over capacity, so our ability to help will be determined by our available foster homes,” Langmaid explained. Those who become foster parents for Last Chance are expected to provide a safe and loving space for the animals, as well as basic supplies such as food.
Bideawee, with locations in Wantagh, Westhampton and Manhattan, is asking Long Islanders to help find foster homes for the animals currently in the East End shelter. To speed up the process, foster applicants will be approved within 48 hours, said communications director Melissa Treuman.
“We are going through every animal now and we’ll be posting on Instagram all specifics about each so people will know the animal’s needs and personality to find the ideal home,” Treuman said. “We’re hoping that’ll help us vet people, so only people who can provide that kind of home will apply to foster.”
The shelter is looking to place nine dogs in eight homes (one set is a bonded pair) and six cats in five homes (due to a second bonded pair). Fosters approved through Bideawee are provided with dog food, a crate and other necessities at no cost to them.
HOW TO FOSTER
If you're interested in opening your home to a Long Island shelter pet, contact Ruff House Rescue's foster coordinators at email@example.com or 516-418-0078; Last Chance Animal Rescue at firstname.lastname@example.org or 631-478-6844; or Bideawee at bideawee.org/Volunteer-The-Todd-Richter-Foster-Program.
You will be asked to fill out an adoption application.