Animal shelters change adoption process during pandemic


CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — As many people are staying at home because of COVID-19, animal shelters are looking at different ways to manage their adoptions.

Shelters like the Champaign County Humane Society, Vermilion County Animal Shelter and the Macon County Animal Control & Care Center have all seen a slight decrease in their adoptions. However, they are still getting animals to their forever homes.

Brandi Cox, officer with the Vermilion County Animal Control, said their shelter has gone completely online with their adoptions. She said while people are not seeing the animals in the flesh, they are still able to see pictures and get information about them.

There are some shelters like the Macon County Animal Control & Care Center as well as the Champaign County Humane Society that are doing a mixture of online and in-person adoptions. Mary Tiefenbrunn, CCHS executive director, said they are having people make appointments to come in for adoptions. Potential adopters can look at animals online first and then make an appointment to meet them. Tieffenbrunn said this limits the amount of people in the building to maintain social distancing.

Amanda Fisher, Macon County Animal Control & Care Center shelter manager, said they still have appointments for people to see a specific pet. After they fill out an online application and are approved, they can see a specific pet. However, they are only allowing two people from the family to come inside the building.

Additionally, as the center operates on a limited staff, Fisher said current pet owners should take extra care to keep their animals confined. She said she understands this is a beautiful time of year, but it is not worth it to have an animal get loose and taken to the shelter. Fisher said she has found the community to be receptive to this and it helps keep intake low at the shelter.

Fisher also wanted to mention having a plan for your pet during the pandemic. She said to have plenty of food for your animal as well as a plan for who would care for them if you were to contract the virus and need to be hospitalized. She said they have not had this happen yet, but this would help make sure animals did not need to be placed at the shelter.

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