Pet project: Brooklyn Cat Cafe launches service to help struggling pet owners during COVID-19

cat alone in cafe
Brooklyn Cat Cafe has launched a new initiative to help pet owners struggling as a result of COVID-19.
Photo by Statia Grossman

The Brooklyn Cat Cafe in Brooklyn Heights has launched an emergency foster network to support pet owners struggling during the coronavirus outbreak.

The folks behind the feline palace on Montague Street have partnered with the Brooklyn Flatbush Area Team for Cats and Cat Castle in Manhattan to launch the NYC COVID Pet Plan, which will help pet owners if they’re struggling to take care of their fur balls for financial or health reasons, according to the project’s founder.

“This type of environment can put a tremendous strain on our neighbors and friends. We want to ensure that not only are humans cared for – but that contingency plans are enacted to ensure the wellbeing of our furry friends,” said Anne Levin, director of the cat cafe.

The initiative’s website provides resources for how Brooklynites can plan for their pet in case they become too sick to care for it, such as finding someone to emergency foster their animal for them.

The group also allows owners to apply for emergency assistance with pet food and kitty litter if they are struggling to afford those things amid the pandemic.

Do-gooders can also apply to help foster pets, donate pet food, pet medicine, cat litter, or money, as well as volunteer for the project, according to the website.

Levin said that she launched the project to help ease the burden on the city’s animal shelters.

“NYC COVID Pet Plan will provide much needed support to pet-owning families affected by COVID-19 and take some of the strain off overburdened city shelters,” she said.

Brooklynites have fostered and adopted cats and dogs en masse to give them company in the quarantine as the pandemic ravages across the Five Boroughs, leaving some shelters without animals.

The Pet Plan currently covers Brooklyn, Upper Manhattan and parts of the Bronx, but the group is looking for other organizations and volunteers to help them expand to help people in need across the city, according to Levin.

“During this time of immense stress, we want to support our neighbors to our greatest ability,” she said.