An anticipated wave of evictions may mean more pets in need, according to the AJC.
Loss of income, homelessness and illness are constant worries for some metro area residents, but the pandemic altered many lives in a hurry. In response, LifeLine launched the Safety Net Foster Program to help pet owners experiencing housing, financial, medical or other setbacks retain ownership of their dogs or cats by providing temporary foster care. For periods ranging from two weeks to one month, pet owners can be assured that their animals would be cared for in a loving and safe environment provided by animal-loving foster families.
This month, the federal eviction moratorium, which has prevented thousands of metro area residents from losing their housing, is expected to end, and LifeLine expects to see an increase in animals that need temporary housing, said spokeswoman Karen Hirsch.
Housing experts estimate that up to 353,000 Georgians owe back rent and said they are bracing for a deluge of court filings to evict renters when the current ban ends on July 31. If pet owners in crisis feel they have no other option, it could mean an overflow of animals on the streets or surrendered to shelters. But LifeLine’s shelters have already reached high intake numbers ranging from 30 to 60 animals each day, Hirsch said.
There are currently 12 pets in the Safety Net program that have to stay in LifeLine shelters because they do not have enough foster parents signed up for the program. “Demand is getting higher and we are getting more calls,” Hirsch said, noting that at any given time, 40% of the animals under their care live with foster families. “We need more fosters,” she said.
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