It wasn’t that long ago Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo introduced the world to his new puppy, Indie. Now, he wants others to have the same opportunity to bring on a social distancing sidekick.
On Friday, Lambo took to Instagram to announce a new partnership with Fur Sisters, a Jacksonville Beach based dog rescue.
“Anyone that adopts a dog from Fur Sisters in the next seven days, I will pay for half the adoption fee and I will pay for all of your dog food for the next six months,” Lambo said. “Let’s keep on giving these dogs the forever home that they need while we’re all staying home right now.”
Lambo said he was inspired by the recent surge in pet adoptions while people stay home because of the coronavirus.
″[I’ve] been reading lately how many dogs and cats have been getting adopted and rescued, which is so great,” he said. “I want to keep that trend going.”
Across the country, shelters are using the coronavirus as a catalyst for pet adoptions. It works two-fold because people are home more often than usual, but also because shelters need to be emptied since caretakers in many cases need to work from home.
In Jacksonville, the Humane Society has waived its adoption fees and is also promoting fostering in an effort to clear the kennels.
“This is a unique opportunity to be at home with your new pet while they adjust to new surroundings,” Lindsey Layendecker, a spokeswoman with the Jacksonville Humane Society said. “Pets keep us in good spirits and help maintain normalcy and routine. Even if you cannot adopt, this is a great time to serve your community by providing a foster home to a pet in need.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there’s no reason to believe animals can contract or spread COVID-19. But the same can’t be said for staff members, which is why shelters are trying to minimize the need for on-site employees sooner rather than later.
The trend has also inspired new terminology, with shelters dubbing pets “furry assistants” and “social distancing sidekicks.”
It’s also caused a shortage of animals to adopt in areas like New York, where Bloomberg reported shelters are either out or almost completely out of pets to adopt.