Companionship benefits people, pets during crisis isolation

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Bringing animals and people together has always been the mission of animal rescuers. Now, as organizations like Palmetto Animal League prepare to operate at critical capacity for an unknown span of time, the need for compassionate, no kill animal rescue only grows.

So many people have been asking me how they can help. But it occurred to me that we need the animals right now just as much as they need us, as the power of companionship can be life-changing for both. So, we at the PAL offer these ideas for helping the animals - and maybe they'll help you, too.

Foster. One of the best ways to save shelter pets right now is to foster. So, while you're spending more time at home, please consider inviting a shelter pet to join you. (PAL pets are happy to entertain your children and they won't use your toilet paper!)

When we can move happy, healthy, awesome animals into foster homes, it opens space for us to rescue other pets in desperate need, enabling us to use resources for the most at-risk animals, including those with urgent medical needs and those in immediate danger due to space requirements at other shelters.

Email Sally@PalmettoAnimalLeague.org to learn about becoming a short-term foster.

Adopt. Bringing a new pet into your life can ease restlessness and renew a sense of schedule. And during this time of social distancing, a furry friend can be a welcome companion, too.

PAL is offering open air adoptions during this time of adaptive operations, where you can adopt without even stepping foot in our Adoption Center. Also, anyone can schedule a "video meet and greet" with an adoptable pet.

Interested in a dog on our website? We'll meet you in the parking lot! And we'll help you complete your adoption application over the phone. All of our adoptable pets have profiles on our website, so take a peek and call us at 843-645-1725 to schedule an open air adoption.

For those who want to visit our Adoption Center, we want to let you know our top priority is keeping people safe while helping the animals in our care. We have implemented several changes to our already stringent sanitary standards, including hourly disinfecting of high traffic areas, required hand cleaning for anyone entering the facility, and allowing only one person (or family) per cat room.

Donate. Of course, one very important way you can help right now is through donations. PAL is a private, non-profit, no kill animal rescue organization that receives no government funding. We rely fully on donations and the kindness of our supporters.

With social distancing becoming the norm, we've seen a drop in visitors, which equates to a drop in financial support. Funds are more crucial than ever as we care for about 200 animals and remain ready to rescue more pets in dire situations.

If you can, consider making a heartfelt gift online at PalmettoAnimalLeague.org.

Amy Campanini is president of Palmetto Animal League.

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