Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our adoption centers, law enforcement, and community outreach teams have been working hard on behalf of animals. This is a trying time for everyone. With so much uncertainty surrounding us, helping keep pets with their families has become more important than ever. We have expanded our support programs to help people keep their pets fed, safe, and together with their families.
The ability of people in Massachusetts to cover the costs of pet care and related expenses has been drastically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the pandemic has exacerbated affordable housing shortages that already existed for renters across the country, low-income households in particular have often had to choose between paying rent and buying groceries, medicine and other necessities—including pet-related expenses. The MSPCA Community Outreach Teams are committed to providing support services to pet owners facing eviction or foreclosure in Greater Boston, Cape Cod, and the Merrimack Valley region. Our teams have been working through the pandemic, and continue to offer supplies and services including pet food and litter, spay/neuter services, and vaccinations (having up-to-date vaccinations for your pet is often required or looked upon favorably by potential landlords).
These programs have been successful so far, but the current housing crisis has us worried for all families, many of whom include a pet. We have put together a list of resources for families with pets who are facing housing insecurity. The resources contain legal and financial programs, tips for renting with pets, and information for landlords who are considering or have animal tenants. Our eviction resources also contain state housing policy information and current housing bills before the legislature.
Housing related issues are the number one reason pets are surrendered to our adoption centers. It is the one thing that we can’t resolve alone – we need help from our legislators to work on long term relief plans for housing. And we need your help too. Contact your legislators to ask for supportive housing policies, rental relief to help families facing eviction, and laws that prevent discrimination against pets in housing.