OMAHA, Neb. — A local young woman hasn't let the pandemic stop her from helping the community. In fact, it's motivated her even more.
Nata Ward fosters animals from her home through Muddy Paws Second Chance, a local rescue nonprofit.
"A shelter environment, some dogs don't thrive in that. Some dogs do a lot better in a home environment. So that's where we come in," she said.
After the initial increase in interest of animals during the pandemic, quickly that interest decreased as families faced financial strife.
"We were not getting any donations because nobody had money to donate, but we were getting so many more cats and dogs that we needed to take care of," Ward said.
With the help of her sister Katya Ward, Nata has taken care of up to 11 animals at one time — all while being a full-time engineer and taking care of her immunocompromised uncle who has cerebral palsy.
"For the past year, we've really been staying at home, not being able to see friends or extended family. That's really when we started diving into fostering more," Ward said.
Despite living in strict isolation, Ward has helped find homes for dozens of animals and plans on continuing her mission into 2021.