In need of a feel-good story? As foster care has become the saving grace for many animal welfare organizations in times of Covid and onward, Pet Foster Stimulus Grant recipient, PAWS Atlanta in Atlanta, GA, was no different. What’s more was that they discovered just how amazing their community was!
When PAWS Atlanta found out that their county was going into a shelter in place order in March, they put out a call to their community for fosters. The community response was incredible! They placed 110 animals into foster homes in the last TEN days of March. “The pleasant surprise has been the way that our community has stepped up,” said Joe Labriola, Executive Director of PAWS Atlanta. “When we asked for fosters there was a surge.”
Thanks to Maddie, the Pet Foster Stimulus Grant helped their animal welfare organization provide supplies necessary to support the surge of new fosters. They were able to buy necessities like leashes and bowls for animals in foster homes.
Due to the shelter in place order, PAWS Atlanta had lost some of their most predictable revenue streams, so they turned to the community for support. “We would put the ask out on a Monday, and by Thursday there would be 50 of whatever it is that we asked for,” said Labriola.
Even in the midst of a paper goods shortage, their community never failed them. “I got a phone call from the front desk saying that there is a tractor trailer here for you, and I went out and sure enough there was a tractor trailer full of paper towels,” shared Labriola. “So the next question is, what do you do with 180 cases of paper towels?!”
PAWS Atlanta surely felt the generosity of individuals and companies in their community that wanted to help, and the first step was putting out the plea to the community. “We’ve been so impressed at how supportive the community has been. People are doing what they are able to do to help us out.” One of the many lessons learned from Covid is that if we ask for help, our community will rise to the occasion, whether it is stepping up to foster or providing pet food donations to help support other community members.
As Paula Powell, Director of El Paso Animal Services, said on a recent Community Conversation call, “Community is our lifeline.” And it couldn’t be more true.
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