While many plans may have been put on hold due to COVID-19, gaining a furry companion need not be one of them.
For pet adoptions and fostering, Brampton Animal Services has introduced a virtual system, with physical distancing measures top of mind.
Brampton Animal Services staff have been setting up appointments via video call to allow potential adopters to see and interact with the animals up for adoption virtually. That includes cats, dogs and other small animals such as birds and guinea pigs looking for a loving family.
Those looking to adopt don’t have to leave the comfort and safety of their own homes for this important part of the process, says Brampton Animal Services manager Kathy Duncan. “They don’t have to risk any interactions or unnecessary attendances in their search for a furry friend.”
Once the perfect match has been found, Brampton Animal Services staff work with the adopter to complete all necessary paperwork and attend 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,” says Duncan. “Physical distancing and health and safety measures are our priority.”
Brampton Animal Services has already adopted 23 animals into their fur-ever homes using this process since Mar. 16, 2020.
“We encourage people to adopt during this time, but potential adopters should also remember that having a pet is a responsibility,” says Duncan. “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.
For those who have lots of love to give but are not currently in a position to adopt an animal, Brampton Animal Services looks for volunteers to foster animals. In fact, 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,” says Duncan. “By taking in a pet, foster parents get the joy of a companion and really help out their local animal shelter.”
One Brampton family, the VandenBergs, went from fostering two puppies to adopting one of them.
“Fostering two puppies certainly gave us ample to do, and something incredibly important to focus our energy on,” says Dianna VandenBerg. “My husband, the self-proclaimed non-lover of critters, fell head over heels in love with Creek,” she says. “Even now, Creek gives everyone a reason to get up early, go outside a lot, and she’s very affectionate and calming.”
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.
For more information, visit brampton.ca/animalservices or call (905) 458-5800.