As we enter another week of uncertainty, our thoughts turn to what we can do to possibly help others trying to find a way through.
Last week we spoke with animal rescues of all shapes and sizes across the country to find out their biggest concerns and how coronavirus will impact on them.
Here are three things we learnt that you can do to make a big difference to your local animal rescue.
1. Food donations
In a lockdown situation, many rescues may in the coming weeks struggle to get their usual food supplies delivered. One rescue on a Scottish island told us this is a particular concern to them.
And with the images and videos we've all seen of supermarket shelves being cleared, online stores selling out and supermarkets struggling to keep up with the demand being put on them by people stockpiling, it's not hard to see why this is such a concern.
Contact your local animal rescue via social media or by email (so from a safe distance for your safety and theirs) and ask if they need any help if you're in a position to donate to give some peace of mind in these uncertain times. Some will have Amazon wish lists already set up already with ways to get involved from afar.
2. Newspaper, toilet rolls etc donations
The RSPCA is encouraging families who haven’t been diagnosed with Covid-19, who haven’t been told to self-isolate and who don’t have any symptoms of coronavirus, to save their loo roll tubes and donate them to their local animal rescue centre when the time is right.
The charity’s Gonsal Farm Animal Centre, in Shropshire, appealed on Facebook to local families not to throw out the cardboard tubes but to save them and contact the centre online or by email.
They said: “With everyone stocking up on toilet roll lately, all we are asking for is the empty tubes! You can make so many DIY enrichment toys for all animals out of cardboard tubes and we love providing plenty for our animals to interact with.
“So keep us in mind when you finish, and don't forget to wash your hands!”
Gonsal Farm Animal Centre won't be the only rescue in this position we're sure. Toilet roll holders and even newspaper might be in short supply. If you have an empty toilet roll holders and an old pile of newspaper (and a clean bill of health), call your local animal rescue and ask if they might benefit from any extra supplies!
From foster care to social distance modified dog walking and even remote online admin, some rescues may be grateful for an extra pair of hands to assist, especially if regular volunteers are self-isolating and they are short-staffed.
Many rescues are preparing for a slow down in adoptions, meaning they will have a larger number of dogs in their care than they thought they would on a regular basis. The potential closure of boarding kennels used by independent rescues due to a shortage of staff or if the business is temporarily closed is also a concern.
If you think you may be a good candidate for fostering, some rescues may benefit greatly from the offer of a short or long foster home (the latter especially to avoid upheaval for the dog).
A dog is not just for this period of uncertainty due to coronavirus, it's for a lifetime and caring for a dog is not something to take lightly.
However, if you have been considering adopting a dog, now might be a time to consider adopting a dog while you're working from home for the foreseeable future to spend some great quality time settling your new friend into their home.
Once you've found a dog for adoption that you think could be a good match, why not suggest a video call to chat and give a guided tour of your home and garden with the dog's rescue to get the ball rolling.
UPDATE 24th March 2020: Now lockdown in the UK has begun, please contact your local rescue online to offer assistance and follow Government and World Health Organisation advice. Certain ideas shared earlier this week are likely to be not available (such as volunteering to dog walk) and it's important to keep everyone safe.