In the world of animal welfare, building relationships with adopters is crucial in finding the perfect match in a pet. We thrive on the face-to-face interactions we’re used to and cherish the time we get to spend with each person as we complete the adoption process. After spending days, weeks, months and even years with the animals in our care, having the chance to sit down with their future family is a special thing.
But last spring, when the pandemic forced us to close our doors to the public, it was clear we had to quickly pivot and adapt to the everchanging times ahead. Despite being shut down, we still had animals in our care that needed homes. But how would we be able to still interact with adopters, ensuring their experience didn’t feel impersonal? “We felt strongly that we needed to remove any roadblocks to adoption that COVID-19 had put in place, while still maintaining safety for staff and the public” explains Director of Animal Services, Riann Hadley. As so many have had to do, our staff immediately adopted a virtual approach to our daily tasks. We turned to a virtual adoption and surrender model that allowed us to approve applications, provide match making and adoption counseling, and finalize forms via email and over the phone. By still being able to keep that contact, answer questions, and place animals in their forever homes, we were able to continue being a resource to people and animals in our community.
Our Adoption Center doors still remain closed to visitors for now, but have always been open to the vulnerable animals and people in our community who have needed us. The past ten months have shown that, no matter the roadblocks placed in our way, with the support of our community, we can continue to provide second chances to all the homeless animals in our community.