I hope this finds you and your family staying well during the COVID-19 crisis. We continue to navigate these uncharted waters and find new and unfamiliar ways to ensure we are saving the animals that need us while keeping our humans safe. Through it all, I’ve realized that none of us at Bideawee were prepared for something of this magnitude--something that would so alter our daily lives and the way we handle animal rescue, animal health care, and even pet memorial services. We just didn’t have a manual; we didn’t have a playbook for a pandemic.
But, we’ve pivoted. We’ve learned. We’ve had to make adjustments and decisions with all of the tools at hand and we have. We’ve listened to the experts and we’ve heeded government and public health officials’ guidance. We’ve taken more webinars and done more ZOOM meetings than we could have ever imagined – just to learn everything we could and collaborate with other animal welfare organizations on best practices. We are an essential business. We continue to operate and have, every day since PAUSE was announced. We keep working for the sake of dogs and cats and the people who love them. But we couldn’t do it alone. And it turns out, we didn’t have to.
We’re two months into this crisis and the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that during the darkest of times, we often find the best in people. And this has certainly been true for Bideawee and the animals we save. I’ve seen the best come out of our entire staff. They’ve had to learn new technology, and in many cases, they’ve had to work harder than before, all while trying to protect themselves and their families and managing their own anxieties around this pandemic. We’ve had more than 700 applicants wanting to foster pets in our care in the very first week of the PAUSE, and we’ve had hundreds of adoption applicants too! We even saw some of our most difficult, long-stay pets find their forever homes during this time! Pumpkin the cat was with us for EIGHT YEARS! And during this crisis, Pumpkin found her forever, loving family. There have been so many people coming to us to ask how they could help. People have stepped up in a multitude of ways, from monetary donations to opening their homes as foster families, so that we CAN continue to save animals, and we’ve seen what having so many people on our side can accomplish.
Bideawee continues to rescue pets that need us, like the many cats and kittens that come to us each kitten season, and the stray dogs who are found homeless and in need of medical care and a loving family. But now we are also helping save pets that have been surrendered due to illness or death related to COVID-19. We are here for them all. We will continue to be here for them all, because of a silver-lining in this crisis – the desire of so many people who want to help. I want to thank every single person who has touched the lives of those of us at Bideawee for the last 117 years, but especially now. Thank you for your outpouring of love and support and for breaking through the darkness of these times just enough to reveal a beautiful silver lining. We are profoundly grateful to each and every one of you.