Friends of the Animal Community, a nonprofit formed in 2001, is currently “chock full” of dogs and cats available for adoption in the post-COVID lockdown era, Darlene Mathews, president said Tuesday. and founder of FOAC. maintenance.
The East Sonora-based Pet Rescue Team is looking for adopters, dog walkers and 1-5 acres of zoned land for an animal shelter, Mathews said.
âThis is the post-COVID lockdown,â she said of the cause of the influx. âA lot of people adopted animals during the lockdown. Now everything has reopened. People are busier again. Some people are looking to get rid of their adopted pets. It’s a national trend. Not just Tuolumne County.
USA Today reported on the trend in May for a story titled, “Everyone Wanted A Puppy When The Pandemic Started, But Now These Dogs Are Gone.” “
The trend has been tough on younger dogs in some states.
Aron Jones, executive director of Moms and Mutts Colorado Rescue in Sheridan, Colorado, told USA Today his organization “couldn’t save enough dogs to meet demand” when the pandemic began early last year .
This year, however, Jones said the amount of returns has doubled what they normally accept in a year. Most animals are about a year old.
In Tuolumne County, FOAC collected more than 400 animals from January to August. The organization would likely have welcomed 300 rescued pets in mid-August in a typical year, Mathews said.
The association currently has 65 dogs and puppies and 55 cats and kittens available for adoption, Mathews said.
âWe have a small facility, but we still adopt 700 to 800 pets per year,â she said. âWe are currently looking for land to expand, due to the number of pets we save each year. ”
Mathews said the organization’s dream is to become a 1- to 5-acre sanctuary where animals can live their lives, including elderly and medically compromised pets.
âWe would love to get land properly zoned for an animal shelter,â she said.
Friends of the Animal Community has partnered with the Sierra Conservation Center State Prison outside of Jamestown for the Prisoners Uniting People & Puppies, or PUPP, program for the past three and a half years, Mathews said.
So far, prison inmates have trained over 150 puppies for adoption through FOAC.
âWe have to house these dogs,â said Mathews. âThat’s another reason we’re packed. “
The organization has resources to help new adopters take care of their new pets, Mathews added.
âHost families are needed to provide temporary accommodation,â she said. âIf people don’t have a place to keep a dog, we’ll provide them with a kennel, food and medical bills. All they do is take care of the animal.
Mathews said FOAC is also short of volunteer dog walkers and is looking for six to eight people who can walk the animals six days a week.
The organization is located at 14841 Mono Way in East Sonora. For more information on FOAC, to make a donation or to adopt an animal, visit www.foac.us, call (209) 533-3622 or email Mathews at [email protected].