Pearland - Friendswood Edition | May 2020

CITY&COUNTY Local animal shelters face challenges with limited volunteer opportunities

VOLUNTEERDUTIES These are some tasks usually handled by shelter volunteers: • Cleaning kennels • Washing dishes & laundry • Sorting donations • O ff -site adoption events • Walking dogs • Interacting with potential adopters SOURCE: PEARLAND ANIMAL SHELTER / COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER the majority of our animals out of the shelters and into private 501(c)(3) rescues.” Fischer said volunteers are missed at the shelter, though the shelter is going to continue to follow recom- mended safety guidelines. “We will eventually get back to being open and doing our events, but I would guess that the new normal is likely going to be very di ff erent from the normal before the pandemic,” Fischer said.


Animal Services not only do on-site tasks such as cleaning kennels, taking dogs on walks, or interacting with potential adopters, but they also operate the shelter’s o ff -site adoption events. “We take our adoption trailers and events through- out the city almost every weekend, and now we just can’t do that,” Fischer said. “We’ve had to both cancel those events and also pick up those tasks that our volun- teers usually do for us.” Fischer said adoptions have stayed consistent, though the facility is at about 75% capacity, which is slightly higher than usual. “I think the biggest impact is our work with rescues,” Fischer said. “We’re getting

Houston-area shelters to o ff er medical attention to animals beyond the abilities of shelters and provide fostering for animals with special needs, according to the organization’s website. Pearland Animal Services closed its facility to the pub- lic on March 24 and has been doing curbside adoptions since. The shelter has also waived pet adoption fees. “We’re wearing protective equipment, and it’s become a really smooth process,” Animal Services Manager John Fischer said. The facility is not using any volunteers right now since the shelter is closed and outside events are canceled. Volunteers for Pearland

As the country has dealt with the rami fi cations of the coronavirus pandemic, many aspects of day-to-day life have been a ff ected. For animal shelters and rescue organizations, the virus has caused a shortage of volunteers in Pearland and Friendswood. “A big challenge I’ve been seeing for shelters is that the number of animals coming in does not slow down, but there is now a bottleneck going out,” said Amy Castro, the president of Starlight Outreach and Rescue. “For us, where we’ve been impacted is our volunteers.” Starlight Outreach and Rescue is an organi- zation that works with

of Pearland Animal Shelter’s capacity was full in late April 75%

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