Lexington animal rescue struggling during coronavirus outbreak

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Among the non-profits being impacted by the virus are animal rescue groups like Paws 4 the Cause in Lexington.

It says donations are down but adoptions are up, which may not be a good thing.

The group says it worries once the coronavirus outbreak goes away and restrictions are lifted, people will start returning the animals they adopted.

“People will go back to work after this virus thing is over so we’re just being a little extra careful,” says Paws 4 the Cause president, Remy Simpson.

In addition to the rescue group asking people to adopt responsibly, it needs more fosters and so do animal shelters across the state.

“There’s a bit of a crisis in Kentucky because we rely on shelters up north to take a lot of our dogs and with the state lines getting shut down, that’s no longer an option,” says Simpson.

They just took in one puppy who was supposed to be heading to New Jersey but now can’t so the group must search for other options.

Unfortunately, some dogs won’t have any other options if Paws 4 the Cause can’t get to them because many of the group’s rescues come from kill shelters in rural Kentucky.

And, there’s another problem.

“Even though there’s a heightened interest from the public for adoptable dogs, there’s also more dogs getting surrendered because people are worried about the coronavirus and they have misinformation about it,” says Simpson.

That misinformation is animals can give people the virus. The CDC says at this time, there’s no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread covid-19 or even be a source of infection in the U.S.

“This is a really important time to help out and you can do so without exposing yourself,” says Simpson.

That includes fostering animals from shelters in your area, donating money to help with supplies and vet care, and considering adopting once the crisis is over if you have the time and space to devote to a pet.

If you’d like to help if any of these ways, click here.

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