Rescuing abandoned and stray dogs during normal times can be both a heart-breaking and rewarding task for those who love animals. But during times of crisis it becomes even more critical. During COVID isolation, many people have taken dogs into their homes both for companionship but also out of compassion. Concerned animal rescue organizers wonder: what will happen to these temporary fosters after stay-home restrictions are lifted?
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated." — Mahatma Gandi
UP member Michael Matassa, who is an UP film director and editor in UP California, is a passionate dog rescue volunteer. He and I have worked together on a number of projects, and he raised a concern about the number of shelters in California that would have to euthanize dogs during the COVID crisis if fostering didn't accelerate. As it turns out, people stepped up in a big way and have fostered in record numbers.
But that creates a potential problem down the line. When the "world returns to normal" and these foster families feel that they've done their part, will they return the dogs to the shelters and flood these shelters with animals again?
[photo by Bruno Cervera /Unsplash]
Film celebrates foster families and encourages "forever" families
We created a film to celebrate all of the wonderful people who have stepped up to foster or adopt an animal during the Covid-19 pandemic. The intent was to put out a soft, emotional "thank you" to these people as a way of provoking them to consider transitioning from a foster situation to a full adoption situation.
UP shared this film with dozens of shelters across the US as a free resource for them to use across their digital, broadcast and social spaces. Here's an example: Facebook Group: Heroes of Rescue
We've done custom end frames for each shelter with their logo and information. So far the film has been viewed 50,000 times.