QUEENSTOWN — While people are quarantined at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s the perfect time to make a new, furry friend. The Queen Anne’s County Animal Services is promoting fostering a homeless animal while they are being asked to work and stay at home to help prevent slow the coronavirus pandemic.

Animal Services Director Ramon Villatoro said, “We want people to know that fostering doesn’t cost them anything other than their time to take care of the pet. We cover all other costs, including pet food, materials, veterinary services, etc. Fostering means you’re just helping us until we can find the pet a forever home.”

While people are somewhat isolated by social distancing, a pet can provide companionship and help lessen anxiety. And the foster relationship provides those same benefits to the animal.

A less stressed, well socialized animal is easier to find a home.

If a long-term foster relationship isn’t right for you, the shelter offers other programs that help get the animals out of a kennel and into a home environment.

“We have a day/night program,” Villatoro said. “We have people who pick up a pet for the weekend, or just for the day or overnight. For those who do this, it can help relieve anxiety they may being experiencing having to stay home to work, being quarantined during the current coronavirus restrictions, or someone who lives alone. Helps cut back on ‘cabin fever.’ This helps keep the animals mentally healthy being in a loving home, even if it’s for one day or one night. We have that flexibility. There is no obligation of long-term time commitment and no commitment from personal finances.”

Animal Services is attempting to implement progressive ways of caring for the animals in the shelter, he said.

If someone is interested in learning more about fostering an animal or in volunteering at the shelter, call 410-827-7178 or email rvillatoro@qac.org.

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