Because the new stay at home orders means a lot more free time, many people are using this as an excuse to adopt a new furry friend. US shelters have reported major increases in adoptions since the start of the pandemic, and many have had to create waitlists or pause adoptions so they can rescue more animals.
Many shelters have never had to deal with too many adoptions at once while having to adjust to these new social distancing rules. While many shelters have had to close their medical centers and limit staff, others are finding new and unique ways to move along the adoption processes. New procedures such as virtual meet and greets and online adoption events have started to become popular.
"Some of our centers are still doing appointment-only, safe, social distanced in-person adoptions,” says Hannah Stember of the Best Friends Animal Society.
Aside from the social distancing guidelines, shelters typically have a busy spring to begin with. Cats that have not been neutered or spayed mate in the warmer months and then litters of homeless kittens appear outside. Rescue teams will have to work harder than before, and more pets will become available for adoption.
A virtual adoption can go just as smoothly as an in-person adoption, and shelters are there to work with you through each step to ensure your virtual match is a good one.