“Hi guys. So I’m at Austin Pets Alive! and I’m here fostering little baby Neon,” Porowski, 36, said in a clip posted by the shelter.
“It’s very important for us to support our local shelters because they’re getting a lot less foot traffic,” he said, while cuddling up to the sweet pup. “If you can’t commit to adopting, I would encourage fostering as well.”
A few days later, actor Kyle Chandler and his wife Kathryn adopted a dog, Clive, from the same shelter.
Shelters across the country are encouraging animal lovers to foster a pet during the coronavirus pandemic, citing the choice as a way to help rescues, pets, and your own mental health during this difficult time.
“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, 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.”
“It’s not only safe to keep pets in the home, but also beneficial, as they can serve as a source of comfort during a crisis,” Castle added. “The companionship of pets has been shown to reduce stress and lower anxiety, helping people to feel calmer and more secure when the news from the outside world is distressing.”
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 shown time and time again that adding an animal to your life makes you happier and healthier.
If you’re looking for more information, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides resources and information about rescuing animals and companion animal safety.
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.
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