Local organization and community members rally to help our furry friends during pandemic

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT- While many of us are spending all of our time at home, many dogs across the country are stuck staying at shelters. Passion 4 Paws wanted to help change that.

Passion 4 Paws is a foster based dog rescue organization. Their mission is to rescue homeless, abandoned, neglected or abused dogs mostly from the South where there are thousands of dogs in need.

Each week Passion 4 Paws transports dogs to foster homes in Vermont. On Monday they received more than double the amount of dogs than they usually do due to the pandemic.

Passion 4 Paws said Monday’s transport was an emergency transport of dogs from the Carolinas. Vice president Katie Anderson felt these dogs needed to come to Vermont as soon as possible.

“Trying to get as many dogs out of the shelter as we can cause staffing in the south going down, the volunteers. They’re limiting their access so we’re trying to get as many dogs as we can into homes, foster homes, and adoptive homes,” said Anderson.

The pandemic is making it harder for dogs to get adopted and many are ending up in cages stuck in shelters.

“So the dogs that would typically get taken out for a walk one or two times a day aren’t getting that attention anymore, said Anderson.” In addition to that, more people are bringing their dogs into shelters even though it’s been proven that the COVID-19 can’t be carried by pets.”

Anderson said she is grateful for the community’s response to take part in fostering rescue dogs.

“The crucial part here is the community support that we have experienced. The amount of people stepping up to volunteer and foster,” said Anderson.

Jessie Murray was one of the many who decided to foster a dog during this time. Murray said she had been interested in fostering, but never felt that it was the right time.

“Now that I’m working from home and have more time ya know to actually be with the dog, I figured it was a great time to do it,” said Murray.

Murray was happy to help out Passion 4 Paws and said she can’t wait to bring her new pooch home.

“I just figured this is one way we can help out and do something productive,” said Murray.

Anderson explained that fostering one of these dogs really can make a big difference.

“It’s a huge difference in quality of life for the dogs. It’s being in a pen without a walk or maybe a 20 minute walk a day vs. being in someone’s home with someone home full time,” said Anderson.

In total, 24 dogs made it into foster homes on Monday.  Passion 4 Paws said they made sure to follow COVID-19 protocol when transporting the dogs.

For more information on Passion 4 Paws and fostering dogs, click here.

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