L.A.-area animal shelters and rescue organizations have closed temporarily because of the coronavirus outbreak. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give a cat or dog a home. New online protocols allow you to adopt or foster a pet while adhering to stay-at-home rules.
Unlike New York City, which is running out of pets to adopt because of the huge demand, L.A. shelters have pets ready to go but expect the process to take longer than usual.
“We have had such an amazing response that we have added staff to process the applications faster,” Los Angeles Animal Services spokeswoman Agnes Sibal-von Debschitz said in an email.
Here are county and city-run shelters as well as rescue organizations you can contact to adopt or foster a pet.
Los Angeles Animal Services
The city of Los Angeles oversees six centers that are open daily 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., by appointment only.
“If people want a small dog, we have only a few at this time,” Sibal-von Debschitz said in her email. “We need help with medium and larger dogs, and adult cats right now. But people should visit our website for new animals coming in.”
Here’s the step-by-step process:
- “Visit laanimalservices.com/adopt. When you see a pet you want to adopt, call (888) 452-7381 with the Animal ID number .... We will share all of the information we have regarding the pet with you.
- “If you want to move forward with the paperwork to adopt this animal, we will obtain all information to complete the paperwork for adoption over the phone and schedule a pick-up appointment.
- “During the appointment, staff will be able to show you the selected animals. We have a directive to not have more than 10 people assembled at one time and that includes staff.”
L.A. County Animal Care and Control
Don Belton, public information officer for the county’s seven animal care centers, urged people to do the same thing: Go online, take a look at the animals available and start the adoption process.
“If you have an animal in mind, make an appointment with that specific animal care center,” Belton said. “Then you’ll meet and interact with that animal, and hopefully fall in love.”
Adoptions are handled first before fostering requests, Belton said. Just be patient waiting for a response because the agency is dealing with many requests.
The staff continues to take care of the animals while keeping themselves and others safe. Also, people can “volunteer from home” by making masks for staff members or making a donation.
To adopt or foster, go online to view animals and learn the process at L.A. County Animal Care and Control. Also call (562) 940-6898; for those who want to foster, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Animal rescue organizations
Lindsey Glick of Redondo Beach adopted a dog Tuesday after an online search. She found some agencies and organizations slow to respond to her request. The special education teacher and her husband wound up at Pardon the Pups rescue organization in the L.A. area and adopted Stumpy, a mix of corgi, Shih Tzu, pitbull and husky.
“At the beginning of this week, I really started looking to find a dog, knowing we would both be home for two months and we needed something to do,” Glick said. She felt it was the ideal time for her and her husband to bond with and teach the dog.
Stumpy, who’s about 4 months old, “looks like a Slinky ... with really short front legs.”