Despite loss of income, SSPCA still open for essential business

SSPCA still adopting out pets to be fostered during COVID-19 pandemic


Two kittens that Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) took into their animal shelter that are now up for adoption through their foster care program. SSPCA works to find homes for pets like these, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of SSPCA)

Brandon Zamora, Sports Editor

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing around the world, a lot of people seem to forget about domestic animals. A lot of pets are abandoned, and left at animal shelters for various reasons. 

While many businesses are still closed or have limited hours, one organization is still open and doing its best for the pets that they are taking care of and trying to find homes for in Sacramento. The Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) is a non-profit organization that takes care of homeless domestic animals with the objective of trying to find them a new home. 

According to Marnie Musser, community outreach manager for SSPCA, the organization helps any animal in need as their pet shelter is open admission. This means that they are obligated to take in any animal given to them no matter their health, age, breed or behavior and even work with other animal shelters across the nation.

“We are associated with other pet shelters such as the ASPCA, which is an organization in New York,” Musser said. “We do take other animals from other shelters when we have the space and availability.”

Like many other businesses today, SSPCA is also dealing with the hardships of COVID-19. While they are still open,  they are not allowing people to come in and adopt pets in person unless they have signed up with their foster care program. However, they do hope that they can allow everyone to adopt again by the end of May, or early June, but there is no official word on that yet, according to Musser. 

“Right now we’re not adopting out any animals unless they’re in foster care because they’re already in the person’s home,” Musser said. “We’re taking care of quite a few fragile animals, and we’ve been able to spend more time and care for them during current events.”

According to Musser, while adoptions are limited right now, the SSPCA is allowing people to come in every Tuesday and Friday to get dog and cat food for the time being. How long they’ll keep doing that is unknown at the moment, so it’s recommended for people who need to get food for their pets to come in as soon as possible, according to Musser. 

In addition to not being able to allow in-person adoptions, the SSPCA also had to cancel events around Sacramento. According to Musser, this has hurt the SSPCA with its income, however they are not at a severe struggling point financially at the moment.

“Due to the fact we need to limit interaction with the public, we had to cancel a lot of events, which had made our income go down,” Musser said. “However, we have been able to keep everyone employed here.”

One of SSPCA’s foster caretakers and occurring volunteers, Cheryl Forster-Garton, says she is proud of how well the SSPCA takes care of the pets they have in their shelter, as well as seeing how dedicated this organization is with their job.

“I have adopted several cats and dogs over the years from the SSPCA because they are vaccinated, chipped, taken care of medically if needed and tested on behavior,” Forster-Garton said. “The SSPCA communicates very clearly their history if available, their needs, any potential quirks and are available to help with training and advice. You really get the sense they truly care about the animals coming through their doors.”

While many pets are being abandoned, taken to pet shelters by their previous owners and need adoption, the SSPCA highly suggests that if you are someone who is looking to adopt and be a foster caretaker for a pet today, to really be ready for the responsibilities that come with taking care of a pet. While this is a huge commitment, the SSPCA does encourage people to help pets in need.

Those interested in becoming a foster caretaker for an animal at SSPCA can contact them by these two emails: [email protected] for those who would like to adopt a dog, or [email protected] for those who would like to adopt a cat. 

“As long as you do your research, have the resources and the space, and willing to take the commitment to take in a pet, you can help out by fostering an animal today,” Musser said.