How has Finding Them Homes struggled during Covid-19? It all started when our vet announced they had been instructed they had to postpone any rescue work, aside from emergencies, until further notice. What did this mean for us? Dogs were still needing to come into care for various reasons, but they would spend a lot longer in foster care until we could get them checked out by the vet and complete any spays or neuters. At one point, we were up to 60 dogs/puppies waiting for the vet.
Flights were also completely halted into most communities aside from some cargo flights. This stopped one of the main airlines we worked with in James Bay so we had to reach out to try to see who was still doing cargo flights. North Star saved the day especially for one community but that meant driving 1.5 hours to pick up dogs in Kapaskasking or somehow getting crates into Pickle Lake (8 hours from Thunder Bay). It took much longer to get dogs in.
Then May came and flea/tick prevention. How were we going to get them with our vet not performing routine rescue work? Well, thankfully our vet agreed to help us out. This meant out fosters needed to get weights on every dog. Meaning, lift up your foster, even the 80lb ones onto the scale with you to get their weight. Okay, problem solved.
Then the announcement we had all been waiting for! Vets were allowed to get back to routine vet checks. The first struggle was “competing” with regular clients as everyone was trying to get their pets back into the vet for routine check ups, vaccines, etc. So we had a bit of a longer wait time but our vet was very accommodating. But… each vet visit, we have a board member there to relay all information. Except, no one is allowed into the vet so it put a lot of pressure to send us all the details of the visit, but also a lot of pressure to make sure our fosters wrote down all the concerns they had with their foster dog.
Then came home checks and adoptions. While virtual home checks never sat easy with us, we did not want to put anyone in danger, be it a home check representative or an applicant so we resorting to virtual. We still miss the face to face but will continue until safe to return back to normal. Adoptions on the other hand created much difficulty. We are used to so much hands on, in person presence that it was a big concern for us to switch to electronic contracts, form signing etc. We were not able to easily review them as we had previously. We had to send a lot more details via email rather than in person and caused a lot more work for our adoption team, but I don’t think we missed any, thankfully!
The blessing behind this pandemic is we have gained such amazing fosters who we hope will stick around once this is all over. We have still be able to help so many dogs as well during this time as we focus solely on ONTARIO northern remote communities so no need to cross borders either. We were also blessed with so many available drivers who had nothing else to do so we did make numerous trips to bring dogs into care!
Lisa, Finding Them Homes