As Contra Costa enters into week 12 of Shelter-In-Place orders from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the need to adopt pets has risen drastically. Partially connected with the closure of animal shelters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, hundreds of cats, dogs, rabbits, and other furry family friends have needed homes. The decision to adopt is not one you should take lightly. Experts remind us that pet adoption is a long-term commitment. However, bringing a new pet into your home while you are sheltering-in-place is a great way to enjoy time at home and build a long-lasting relationship with a new, furry, family member. Special Paws Animal Rescue is a local organization committed to helping pets find long term homes.
Introducing Special Paws Animal Rescue
Located in Discovery Bay, California, Special Paws Animal Rescue (S.P.A.R) is a local not-for-profit animal rescue group that is committed to helping the community by providing “each special paw the love compassion and rehabilitation they need.” The animal rescue group takes animals who need rehoming, medical care, training, and other services. Once the animal is ready to be introduced to their ‘fur-ever’ family, S.P.A.R. has a meticulous application process to ensure each pet homed is placed in a home that is ideal for both the family and the animal.
Special Paws Animal Rescue was founded in August of 2019 by Julie Clancey, Andi Seitz, and Brittnay Miller. She explained she dedicated many years to fostering rescue animals through another local pet adoption agency and wanted to do more. She explained, “there is such an incredible need. I wanted to do more. So – I have been non-stop ever since.” SPAR has found homes for well over a hundred kittens, dogs, and rabbits in less than a year. Each animal is assessed by a local vet, provided necessary medical treatment, given shots, spayed or neutered, and placed with a well-matched family.
Another founding member of the group is Andi Seitz. Ms. Seitz manages the medical side of the rescue. She has been able to ensure animals that the rescue takes in are able to receive the medical attention they need to survive and thrive in a new adoptive home. Some of the special cases she has solved include missing limbs, enucleation and amputations. The animal rescue works closely with ARK Vet Hospital in Antioch and The Pet Advocate in Tracy.
How to Adopt from Special Paws Animal Rescue
Julie has a very simple process in place at SPAR. First, check out the adoptable animals available through the rescue by visiting the SPAR website, or by checking out other local animal adoption sites. Once you find a pet you are interested in learning more about, you can contact the volunteers at SPAR and request an application.
Once you submit your application to the team, they will reach out with any questions they might have. Keep in mind, the team of volunteers at SPAR is committed to finding the right home for each of their animals. This means they will ask questions to ensure the needs, and the personality, of each adoptable pet, are provided by the family. When we spoke with the team, questions they asked included, “How many hours are you away from the home” and “When you travel, who cares for your pets?” Other questions include experience with animals, safe spaces in yards, and access to veterinarian services. Once the team at SPAR understands you and your needs, they can pair you with the right pets.
From there, it is time for a meet-and-greet and you can decide if you are ready to bring home a new family member! The team at SPAR is friendly, passionate about their animals, and fun to work with.
Helpful Tips When you Adopt During the COVID-19 Crisis
Creating space in your lives, and home, for a new pet is always an exciting time. Keep in mind, as mentioned before, pet adoption is a long-term commitment and not something that will only last as long as the Shelter-In-Place order. There are some concerns about the adoption process due to COVID-19. Here are some tips.
- Animals have not shown to be able to carry COVID-19, hence they are not able to transmit the virus. Bringing a new pet into your home is not a sign you are bringing the virus into your home.
- All the paperwork will be done online. Because of new orders, there is not a shelter you can visit. Paperwork and interviews are completed online. The first interaction will be a meet-and-greet with your pet at a public location where safe social distancing can be practiced.
- There are associated adoption fees.
- Pets can be amazingly fun. Keep in mind, kittens and puppies can be a lot of work. Be prepared for the ‘baby’ stage of pet care.
How to Work With Special Paws Animal Rescue
There are numerous ways you can support Special Paws Animal Rescue. Each avenue of help supports the rescue and allows these pets to find forever families that will keep them safe!
Donate: SPAR is a non-profit, volunteer-based rescue. Monetary donations are warmly welcomed and help cover the costs of food, hygiene, and medical needs. You can donate here.
Volunteer: If you love animals, SPAR is always looking for people to help. From transporting animals, bringing them to vet appointments, picking animals up from the animal shelter, or helping at adoption events, there is always a need. To volunteer, click here.
Foster: Another way you can support SPAR is by fostering a pet. People who have experience with animals, have extra space in their homes, or love animals and want to help are ideal for becoming a pet foster parent. While SPAR volunteers match each animal with their forever family, animals make their temporary homes with foster families. This allows pets to get healthy, become socialized, or gain weight in safe homes. It also allows volunteers to learn the personalities of the animals before they are placed with their permanent families. Without foster families, SPAR would not be able to meet its mission.
Adopt: Adoption is the perfect option for families who are ready to make a long-term commitment to bringing a new family member into their home.