Our Commitment During COVID-19: How We Are Continuing to Help Animals in Need

March 24, 2020

ASPCA staff member with a black dog

While we work to shift our operations to best keep our employees and the animals we serve safe and healthy, we want to ensure you that we are still fully committed to continuing our lifesaving work and helping those who need us most. Across the country, we are finding ways to continue to care for, protect and find either temporary or permanent placement for animals in need during this time. 

aspca staff member with a brown dog in an office

In New York City, the ASPCA Adoption Center and Foster team have been working round-the-clock to ensure that while we are closed, the animals in our care are comfortable and safe. Many are being placed with loving fosters for the time being. Animals like Walnut, who was recently surrendered by an overwhelmed caregiver, are enjoying some TLC with new foster parents. Our team in Los Angeles has also seen an uptick in foster caregivers willing to help cats and kittens in need.

a yorkie mix at a foster

Similarly, in other parts of the country, such as at our temporary shelter and the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC), we have a limited number of staff caring for rescued dogs who are in ongoing rehabilitation before they'll be ready for adoption. The BRC is also leaning on their incredible network of foster caregivers to assist with the dogs who are able to go to foster homes. There are dogs who are still too fearful to go to foster, so the dedicated BRC staff will continue to care for them, provide them with enrichment and conduct behavior treatments with them. These dogs include many from our recent rescue in Arkansas. In addition to the ongoing care of these dogs, the BRC is continuing their Learning Lab program,whose goal is to increase the national capacity for advanced behavioral healthcare of animals. They are currently focused on developing online learning programs for ASPCA Pro (such as their 20-minute course, How to Encourage Good Behavior in Shelter Dogs) and on engaging their partner shelter network to amplify innovative ways to support the behavioral healthcare of shelter animals during these challenging times


an aspca responder with a rescued dog

rescued cat in a carrier

Aside from the rescued furry friends we have in our care, our Relocation team is also on the front lines during this time, saving as many lives as possible. With less foot traffic coming into shelters nationwide, many animals in overcrowded shelters could be at risk. Through relocation we are able to transport these animals safely to areas where they have a better chance at finding homes, or foster homes during this uncertain time—helping local shelters and more innocent animals. This past weekend, we transported several animals through our partnership with Wings of Rescue, and though we will be slowing down some Relocation efforts in the near future, we will still be delivering supplies to shelters in need. 

ASPCA relocation staff looking at a small plane

rescued puppies in transport

As we learn more about COVID-19, we will continue to evolve and develop new methods to best keep animals safe—but our work won’t stop. Animals nationwide can continue to count on us to be there for them and remind them that they haven’t been forgotten. But we can’t do it all alone. We need people like you now, more than ever to continue to make these things possible—to continue to save more lives. Please consider making a lifesaving gift today if you’re able, or become an ASPCA Guardian to help us year-round. 

ASPCA staff holding a small dog

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts during this difficult time. Please keep safety, compassion and kindness top-of-mind.