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Farm animals in need of new homes during the coronavirus crisis

Farm animals at shelters like Pasado's Safe Haven are in need of adoption and fostering during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Pasado's)

Animal shelters around the Puget Sound are looking for people to adopt cats and dogs, and people in quarantine are taking in new pets as a companion during the stay-at-home order. But these more standard pets are not the only creatures in need of a home during the coronavirus crisis — farm animals are also looking for new homes right now.

Pasado’s Safe Haven in Monroe rescues not just dogs and cats, but goats, cows, pigs, horses, ducks, chickens, and even llamas. Director Stephanie Perciful said that because the shelter mostly takes in animals that law enforcement locate in abuse cases, they were not able to shut their doors to new arrivals when the pandemic started — even while keeping as many people home as possible.

“We are continuing our work, definitely, and we’re bringing those animals in — that’s why it’s especially difficult to be able to continue our work without volunteers and running on a skeleton crew because of stay-at-home orders,” Perciful said. “We are continuing this work, and we’re continuing to bring in any animals that we can and still be there for them.”

If a person does not think they can make the long-term commitment to adopt a cow or horse, Pasado’s also seeks foster households for farm animals. A barn, a fence, and plenty of pasture to roam around in are all among the requirements. More information can be found here.

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“If people have the right home, and the right barns, and the right fencing, they might be eligible to be a foster family, … all of our animals have to be able to be enclosed at night, so they have to have a safe place from predators,” Perciful said.

Last week, two goats named Rocky and Woody found a new foster home in Issaquah among green meadows and blackberry brambles. Pasado’s staff delivered the two goats while taking proper social distancing precautions, including wearing gloves and masks, staying 6 feet apart, using a disinfectant spray, and having all forms signed online.

“They were able to immediately go out into the pasture with goats and a llama, and start exploring, and go on this grand adventure,” Perciful said of the two goats. “So that’s relieving our team at the sanctuary, as well as giving this family some new friends and entertainment, and giving Rocky and Woody this great springtime in a big, beautiful pasture.”

Pasado’s has gotten a large response in applications since putting out a call for help last week, but Perciful said with over 200 animals at the shelter, many more homes are needed.

“It’s the best time to be doing it right now — you’re at home, you can bond with them,” she said. “And they provide such great companionship.”

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