Dog vaccine

New program offers 60 days of free pet care to owners in need

For now, dogs, cats and even a pair of related pigeons have a temporary home at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley. But once these animals are adopted into their forever homes, the organization wants to make sure they stay there with a new resource.

The Humane Society recently launched a temporary pet housing program, which allows pets to receive up to 60 days of free housing and veterinary care, such as neuters and vaccinations, when their owner is homeless, evicted or other emergency.

“Members of our community really need more support than ever. There are people who are struggling with financial changes, job changes, all kinds of things,” said Anne Gass, relationship manager rescue at the Animal Humane Society.

“When people go through these tough times of crisis, they rely on their families, and that includes their pets.”

The program was made possible by a $125,000 grant from PetSmart Charities.

One of the main reasons pets are abandoned is housing. With the recent closure of Minnesota’s rental assistance program and the upcoming end of the eviction moratorium in June, Gass says the service will be needed.

“We anticipate that over the next few months the need may become even greater,” she said.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a long-term dog daycare. Homeowners eligible for the program will be referred by local social service agencies.

“Through part of this intake process, these groups would be able to recognize pets’ needs and they would refer them to AHS,” Gass said.

The program is not just for dogs and cats. AHS is also able to help owners of guinea pigs, rabbits and a variety of other animals.