LOS ANGELES - The global COVID-19 pandemic is impairing some international rescue organizations in their efforts to find dogs new homes.
In Defense of Animals (IDA), an animal protection nonprofit, and Jindo Love Rescue, an organization that helps save dogs from the South Korean meat trade, described in an email how travel restrictions are making it difficult to save dogs, and how some canines have been stranded.
“The organization relies on travelers who volunteer to bring dogs to North America from South Korea,” the IDA wrote, “but now dogs who have adopters waiting for them in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, New York City, Seattle, Washington D.C. and Toronto are stuck without a flight."
“Not only is this affecting dogs who are waiting to get to their new homes, it’s stifling rescuers’ ability to save more. Eight dogs are currently waiting to fly to their new homes, and many more are available for adoption,” according to the IDA.
The United States is presently under a Level 4 Travel Advisory globally, recommending that Americans do not travel internationally. Thousands of domestic flights have already been cancelled and even for those that do remain, travelers can still be wary of potentially spreading or contracting COVID-19.
The rescue groups are asking for those in South Korea who are scheduled to fly directly to the U.S. or Canada to serve as flight volunteers in efforts to help get the dogs to their owners.
“Volunteering to travel with a rescued dog doesn’t involve much more than allocating some extra time before departing and after arriving,” the organization said. “Jindo Love Rescue takes care of all the details, costs and paperwork for customs beforehand, and adopters will be waiting when volunteer transporters land.”
In Defense of Animals and Jindo Love Rescue are just two among many pet adoption, rescue and shelter organizations who are requesting help for their animals amid the pandemic.
In Philadelphia, numerous animal shelters and organizations are accepting donations and pledges, and are offering pets to adopt or foster. Rescue organizations in Detroit are also in need of fosters to take care of pets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offer helpful tips to care for pets amid the pandemic.
RELATED: How to help local animal shelters during the COVID-19 pandemic