Much of life feels stunted right now, but bringing a furry friend into your home doesn’t have to be included in the pause.
To aid people through the process of pet adoptions and fostering, Brampton Animal Services has introduced a virtual system that keeps physical distancing top of mind.
Brampton Animal Services staff have been organizing video call appointments in order to allow potential adopters to see and interact with the animals up for adoption, without any contact needed.
This includes virtual access to cats, dogs, and other small animals such as birds and guinea pigs who are looking for a loving family.
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“Potential adopters don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of their own homes for this important part of the process,” said Brampton Animal Services manager Kathy Duncan, in a release.
“They don’t have to risk any interactions or unnecessary attendances in their search for a furry friend.”
Once a match has been found, staff at Brampton Animal Services coordinate with the adopter to complete the necessary paperwork and visit the shelter in a controlled appointment.
“Staff come out to your vehicle in all necessary PPE to ensure your safety and their own, finalize the adoption, and deliver your pet straight to you,” Duncan said.
“Physical distancing and health and safety measures are our priority.”
Since this process was introduced on March 16, Brampton Animal Services has already adopted 23 animals into new homes. Those who are thinking of adding to that number, however, are reminded to consider their post-pandemic lifestyle, too.
“We encourage people to adopt during this time, but potential adopters should also remember that having a pet is a responsibility,” Duncan said.
“Be sure to consider whether you will have enough time to spend with your pet, and the finances to support your new furry friend, when physical distancing measures are lifted.”
It costs $120 to adopt a cat, $200 to adopt a dog and $5 and up to adopt a bird or other small animal, plus licensing fees where applicable. On the flip side, if adoption isn’t available to you right now, but you still have love to give, there’s also the option of fostering.
Brampton Animal Services expects cats and kittens will be available to foster soon.
“The animals we have available for fostering would do better being cared for in a home than at a shelter,” Duncan said. “By taking in a pet, foster parents get the joy of a companion and really help out their local animal shelter.”
As of April 22, nine volunteers have opened their homes to foster pets – seven dogs and two cats are currently under foster care. And you never know — you could end up bringing in an animal expecting a short-term experience, but fall too deeply in love to let them go.
One Brampton family, the VandenBergs, went from fostering two puppies to adopting one of them.
“The adoption process through Brampton Animal Services is always easy and straightforward, and COVID has only altered it slightly, but everything is a bit different as we make our way through,” Dianna VandenBerg said.
Public Health Ontario notes that there is currently no evidence that pets or other domestic animals play a significant role in the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick, it is recommended that you avoid contact with pets and other animals, just like you would other people, until more is known.
From there, simply call Brampton Animal Services at 905-458-5800 or email [email protected] to set up next steps with animal services staff.