People are coming together in Wisconsin amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Less than a week after asking for help finding homes for the hundreds of animals in their care, the Wisconsin Humane Society – which found themselves in a “tough situation” amid the spread of the virus – announced that every single animal had either been adopted or fostered.
“Absolutely incredible. We’re near tears,” they wrote in an emotional Facebook post. “On March 15, we let our supporters know we needed help to get as many animals out of our shelters as possible so we could be ready for whatever challenges tomorrow throws at the communities we serve.”
“Despite the chaos and uncertainly of a global pandemic, you adopted 159 animals and took home 160 foster animals, all in just 5 days – and while three of our campuses were closed, no less!” they added. “Take a moment to let that sink in… 319 animals are snoozing on couches instead of sitting in kennels. We couldn’t possibly express how grateful we are.”
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Although as of Friday, there were absolutely no animals up for adoption – which the humane society called “the most wonderful sight we could ever hope for at a time like this” – they noted that they would continue to receive animals in the coming days.
“You’ll see more listed as they arrive, but for now, we celebrate this tremendous bright spot during an exceedingly difficult time,” they continued. “We’re so grateful to our community for taking all of these changes in stride. We wish we could thank you all in person, but for now, we send our love virtually ❤ You. are. Amazing.”
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Many animal shelters have also asked for help in recent weeks, noting their concern over being able to care for all of the animals in need as foot traffic, donations and volunteers have decreased.
“Animal shelters across the country are having to deal with an increase of dogs and cats in need of homes because fewer people are visiting shelters right now, and in some cases, shelters are having to temporarily close to the public,” Julie Castle the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society recently told PEOPLE. “Some animal shelters are already seeing an increase in intake, and many are bracing themselves for the possibility of fewer adoptions and fewer foster homes, and are concerned about limited space.”
“If you don’t have a pet and are thinking about getting one, now is the perfect time to ‘try it on’ by fostering from your local shelter. Shelters and pet adoption facilities nationwide need people to foster pets on a temporary basis,” she added.
The Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the American Veterinary Medical Association have all stated that pets are not at risk of spreading COVID-19, and science has repeatedly shown that animals help people feel happier and healthie r.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.