Local News

Help to Keep Pets at Home

(LaPorte, IN) - Help is being extended so pet owners aren’t forced to give up their animals because of financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.

            The LaPorte County Small Animal Shelter is purchasing food and other pet necessities for owners struggling with a decision made especially tough by such unexpected and extreme circumstances.

            “Anybody who needs help with dog food, cat food, cat litter we are more than happy to help,” said Jane Bernard, director of the shelter at 2855 W. Indiana 2 next to the LaPorte County Fairgrounds.

            Bernard said the assistance given to eight pet owners since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown to try and slow the spread of coronavirus also includes money for minor medical costs.

            “We can also help with that as well,” she said. 

            The effort is being funded with a $5,000 emergency grant awarded three weeks ago by the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte. 

            Bernard said just a couple of pets, including a Labrador puppy, have been taken to the shelter by owners no longer able to afford the animals because of COVID-19 related hardship.

            She’s not sure what to expect in the coming days but some animals were moved to other shelters to free up space in case it’s needed.

            “Let’s hope it doesn’t get to that point,” she said. 

            Presently, the shelter is open to the public by appointment only because of the social distancing requirements imposed by the governor.

            Bernard said people wanting to adopt can still go to the shelter’s Facebook page to look at pictures of the animals and fill out an application.

            Applicants cleared for adoption can later schedule an appointment to meet the animal.

            The grant was part of more than $550,000 awarded recently by HFL to help the community in other areas like food assistance during the crisis.

            Pet owners can ask for help by contacting the shelter at (219) 326-1637.

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