As the ASPCA’s COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Initiative continues to expand and bring lifesaving services to pet owners and animals most in need, the ASPCA has committed to helping about 200,000 animals nationally through its efforts by providing access to free pet food, supplies, veterinary care, emergency boarding, information and crucial funding.
“During this incredibly challenging time, people across the world are turning to their pets for comfort and companionship. We are committed to helping animals stay healthy and safe at home with their families by enabling access to critical medical services, pet food and supplies in communities that need them most,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “These resources will sustain those important family bonds as well as alleviate stress on animal shelters.”
In response to the tremendous need for crucial pet food and supplies, the ASPCA has launched regional pet food distribution centers in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles and Asheville, NC, while also supporting local shelters operating their own food distribution centers by providing free pet food for those organizations, such as Columbus Humane in Ohio. Pet food and supplies are available by appointment only, including walk-up, drive through and home delivery services across the different locations. Since launching in March, more than 40,000 dogs, cats and horses have been helped through the program.
In addition to its pet food distribution centers, the ASPCA helped spearhead an emergency delivery of more than 8,000 pounds of critical pet food to hundreds of dogs in 35 Alaskan villages, whose access to food and supplies had been cut off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The COVID-19 crisis has not only created unprecedented challenges for pet owners struggling to care for their animals, but also put homeless animals at-risk by straining essential shelter resources. To assist animal welfare organizations during these challenging times, the ASPCA emergency relief grant program is awarding a minimum of $2 million in lifesaving funding for animal welfare organizations whose programs, operations or fundraising capabilities have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The emergency relief grant program is made possible in part by The Alex & Elisabeth Lewyt Charitable Trust, which donated $500,000 to support the ASPCA’s efforts.
In addition to providing lifesaving funding to animal welfare organizations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, the ASPCA is committed to helping animal shelters and rescue groups find safe and loving homes for the animals in their care. To address challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, animal shelters have employed innovative techniques, including using technology to facilitate online adoptions, to continue safely moving dogs and cats out of the shelter and into homes. On June 5 to June 7, the ASPCA will host the National Adoption Weekend to encourage the public to #AdoptFromHome and help thousands of homeless dogs, cats and horses find homes.
For more information on the ASPCA’s efforts to help at-risk animals, please visit www.aspca.org.