New Jerseyans previously on the fence about taking in a dog or cat due to not being home enough — your time has come, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 20, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center has accepted more than 360 foster applications, and has placed more than 80 animals thanks to a streamlined new drive-thru system according to Nora Parker.

As of March 25, St. Hubert’s is offering adoption by appointment only at the facility’s Madison location and the Noah’s Ark location in Ledgewood, with appointments available between 4 and 6 p.m.

People interested in adopting a dog or cat should first check the shelter website, before emailing St. Hubert's.

At Somerset Regional Animal Shelter, shelter manager Brian Bradshaw said public interest also has been strong in this early phase of the pandemic. He said having less animals in the Bridgewater facility has been a help for the limited staff now allowed in the building amid the state's more stringent regulations.

Bradshaw said for now, they are holding off on accepting new foster volunteers, while placing young animals into foster homes with existing volunteers.

new friends looking for forever homes (courtesy Somerset Regional Animal Shelter)

Bradshaw anticipates this will go on for a while, and is concerned that the financial hardships for a lot of New Jersey residents faced with lost wages will translate to less donations for his shelter, which will take a toll.

People looking to support without being able to physically take in an animal can opt to "shop for the shelter" using the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter wish list on Amazon.

St. Hubert’s also welcomes donations — "no gift is too small to help during this crisis," Parker said, while also adding the center is working to boost its supplies available for families facing new financial hardship.

Monmouth County SPCA and Eleventh Hour Rescue are among other animal shelters in NJ also in adoption by appointment mode, until further notice.

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