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Northeast Coonhound Rescue reacts to pandemic

By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff

When the coronavirus first hit Massachusetts, many rescues realized that they would have to change their normal line of operations until conditions allowed them to resume a semi-normal state. However, as the rest of the world has shifted, so has the day to day work of organizations like Northeast Coonhound Rescue, whose charges are featured in Hometown Weekly's pet page. Staff and volunteers for the foster-based rescue work every day to transport adoptable hounds from the South to New England where they can find forever homes.

While other shelters work out of a facility, Northeast Coonhound Rescue has a network of fosters who take their dogs in before they are adopted. “Northeast Coonhound Rescue has continued to operate these last several months, although things have slowed down for us. As a foster-based rescue without a shelter building we have not had to cope with managing a facility that's open to the public. We've continued to take in local owner surrenders, and to bring up coonhounds and beagles from the South,” says Ann Lambertus, President of Northeast Coonhound Rescue. “Most of our foster homes have been willing to take in new dogs, and we've been able to arrange meetings with adopters in outdoor places with social distancing.” 

Perhaps the most unexpected result of the pandemic has been an increase in pet adoptions nationwide. “With everyone at home, people are seeing this as an ideal time to adopt a new pet and we've had a real increase in applications. We have many more applicants than available dogs at this point. This seems to be the case at many local rescues,” says Lambertus. However, this increase in adoptions has led to the emptying of shelters and the increase of dogs transported from the South each week. “At the same time, it's been more difficult to transport dogs from the South, since with all rescues eager to take dogs,  the transporters fill their loads quickly and are sometimes booking weeks into the future.”

The other key problem that has developed as a result of the coronavirus has actually been quarantine. Each dog is placed under a mandatory quarantine for 48 hours and requires a quarantine reservation before they begin their trip to Massachusetts. “Some of the quarantines have either been closed or limiting intake due to COVID-19, so that has had an impact on our ability to bring dogs up for adoption as well. Without the transport and quarantine limitations, we'd be able to bring up many more dogs for the people who want them,” explains Lambertus. 

While the process to transport dogs up to Massachusetts has slowed down, the want for these lovable howling hounds hasn’t diminished in the least. “In the next few weeks, we'll have about a dozen dogs arriving and we have homes waiting for most of them already. We expect this trend to continue through the summer. We are continuing to do meet-and-greets outside with social distancing, and beginning to do traditional home visits if our applicants and volunteers are comfortable doing so,” says Lambertus.

While the shutdown may be coming to an end and coronavirus cases in Massachusetts are decreasing, it is still the perfect time to adopt a goofy hound to keep you company.

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