Baton Rouge animal shelter saves more lives than ever during pandemic thanks to foster program

Pet adoptions are on the rise during the pandemic

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Since the pandemic began, animal adoption numbers have decreased, causing some shelters to make difficult decisions about the animals for which they provide care. However, Companion Animal Alliance (CAA) is actually saving more animal lives due the increase in fostering.

Recently, CAA hit a milestone, saving more animals than ever before due to more people fostering during the pandemic.

“The whole purpose of the foster program is to be able to provide more options for animals in the shelter. So when the animal goes into foster, that provides more space for animals that need a kennel here,” said director of the foster program, Emma Meeker.

From the start of the pandemic, Meeker and her team began to worry as more animals came in, but adoption rates continued to fall. From there, the shelter decided to expand its program in order to save as many animals as possible.

“So when COVID happened, we didn’t have adoptions when we were closed. We were still pretty much getting the same amount of intake, so we are still receiving animals, but we weren’t able to get as many animals out. So what that meant was that we really needed to rely on our foster community in order to save those animals,” said Meeker.

Many in the Baton Rouge community responded to the call and began opening their homes to animals in need.

“With a lot of people, you know, having more time to spend at home, they’ve been more able to take on dogs and cats and it’s been super helpful, and opening up space here, that way saving more lives,” said Holly Danielson, an adoption counselor for the shelter.

CAA is still asking people to foster animals. Those interested can foster cats, dogs, and some exotic animals too. If you would like to foster an animal, visit CAA’s website. If you would like to adopt an animal, appointments must be scheduled due to COIVD-19. To make an appointment, call 225-408-5360 or email adopt@caabr.org.

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