COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Rescue shelters have seen a record number of adoptions during the pandemic, but one shelter, Hospets, is facing challenges they didn’t expect.
During the stay at home order, people delayed not only their own health issues but those of their pets as well.
“Our goal is to keep the pet and the person together as long as possible,” said Lisa Zimmerman, Hospets Founder.
Hospets provides food for pets and people, rides to and from vet appointments and fosters animals while their owners are away from home.
“Rather than them having to place their pet in the shelter and potentially not get their pet returned we provide respite care where we will care for the pet and get that pet returned home,” she said.
Zimmerman says the rescue shelter had other goals of outreach this year like focusing on vaccine clinics until COVID-19 happened.
“I’ve had to shift our efforts to providing services to help keep the seniors at home so we can keep them healthy and keep those pets at home,” she said.
“We’ve actually had a big increase in calls from emergency rooms in hospitals from seniors who have gone into the emergency room and actually brought their pets with them,” Zimmerman said. “We’ve had a lot of pets not able to make it to the vet. They may need updated medications. We’ve had pets that have unfortunately been in really bad shape and they hadn’t been able to get to the vet and they suffered for a while.”
For more information on how to help Hospets, to foster, or view adoptable animals, go to hospets.org