Prominent vegan activist and celebrity Miley Cyrus along with her boyfriend Cody Simpson have welcomed another furry friend to their home, adopting a rescue puppy named 'Bo' from The Wagmor Luxury Spa, Hotel & Rescue. A Shepard mix, Bo hails from The Wagmor just like two of Cyrus' other dogs, Emu and Beanie. Miley, who has been hosting Instagram live streams Monday through Friday called "Bright Minded', spoke with Melissa Bacelar, owner of The Wagamor, who shared with Miley and her audience why it's such a crucial time to adopt a pet.

Bacelar explained that due to financial stress caused by the pandemic, "many families have had to surrender their pets after losing jobs, wages or housing security. In addition, many shelters are closing because of strict orders for only essential businesses to operate...across the country.” Tragically, some owners are also passing away from the virus, leaving their animals displaced. That's why if you're in a position to do so, now is a perfect time to consider adopting, fostering or donating money to your local animal shelter. Considering the nationwide shelter-in-place orders now is an ideal time to adopt or foster a pet because, with so much time at home, you can form a strong bond with your animal and put in the necessary hours required to create a good foundation of training.

My Experience Adopting and Fostering

Last winter, I got to experience firsthand how rescuing an animal positively impacts both the shelter and the animal itself when I adopted my cat Silky, who was formerly feral. Through the Bayonne Feral Cat Foundation, I was able to take care of an animal who had spent her first months living on the streets and clear a spot for another animal in need to be helped by BFCF. After being taken off the streets, Silky had spent about three months awaiting an owner, and I felt lucky that I was able to provide her a permanent home and the attention she deserved.

Prior to rescuing Silky, I also fostered a cat in need a few years ago when I lived in Boston, through Kitty Connection. I was able to give love and attention to a malnourished cat named Ava, who was two years old but weighed the same as a small kitten when she came into my care. I helped nurse her back to health and she was adopted after two months into a happy home. Fostering Ava allowed her the time and space she needed to heal, and it helped out Kitty Connection because they were able to take better care of their other cats, with Ava out of the equation and in my care.

How to Help

You can find a shelter in your area to donate to directly using Petfinder's animal shelter search engine or you can donate to the Petfinder organization or the ASPCA, which both help homeless pets and animals in need during the crisis. The Shelter Pet Project is another organization that connects animals to potential owners. If you're not able to adopt or foster, another way that you can help out is by reaching out to your local shelter to see what food or supplies they are in need of during the pandemic. For more resources, The Humane Society has a COVID-19 FAQ sheet to help answer all of your questions. During this period of uncertainty, take a cue from Miley and adopt a pet in need of a good home, or help out your local shelter by fostering or donating if you're able to.