GUELPH, ON (December 15, 2020) – The Guelph Humane Society (GHS) is hoping to get as many animals home for the holidays as possible. With as many as 40 animals either up for adoption, or soon to be up for adoption, there are cats, dogs, geckos and bunnies looking to spend their first happy holiday with their new family – with the hope of many more happy moments to come.
Over the past three weeks, GHS has adopted out 62 animals: 45 cats, seven rats, five dogs, three bunnies, a quaker parakeet and a chicken. But as dozens of animals go home, more come into the care of GHS. Any where from five to 15 animals are being surrendered each week, just like a bonded pair of senior Shih Tzus that recently arrived at their door, aptly named Holly and Claus!
“Adoptions haven’t slowed during the pandemic at all,” says June Yang, the Adoption Coordinator at GHS. “The biggest change right now to our adoption program is we’re not in a position to have adopters come into the shelter to meet animals prior to adoption. Because our building is so small, we found there’s no way we can ensure physical distancing, especially while staff are caring for the animals at the same time.”
Instead, like most humane societies, GHS had to get creative to ensure adopters could still “meet” their potential new family members. Now, adopters can meet any animal via a zoom meeting. Consider it a virtual “date” with your new pet.
“We would schedule a time with the adopter, with a staff member, and if the animal is in foster then with the foster parent as well,” explains Yang. “You get to see what they look like, how they act, and if it’s with a foster parent, then the foster parent can tell you all about what that animal’s been like in the home. In all honesty, some of the adopters have told us that they actually prefer this because sometimes animals can be a little bit scared in the shelter environment.”
Yang says that in a foster home, the animals come out of their shells and really blossom. The potential adopter has the advantage of seeing the animal in a home setting, plus they get a chance to talk to the foster parents who know their personality best.
GHS has really relied on the foster community this year, to minimize the number of animals in shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jenelle White, Volunteer and Education Coordinator with GHS, says that the foster program grew to over 150 volunteers throughout 2020.
Often, animals will wait for medical procedures (such as spay/neuter surgery, dental surgery, or routine vaccines) in a foster home, and return to the foster home to recover while waiting to be adopted. Once an animal is ready for adoption, they are placed on the Available Animals page of the GHS website. And the adoption process doesn’t take long.
“One of the things we’re actually finding is that our adoptions are moving quite quickly,” says Yang. “So for our cats, and our small animals such as our rabbits, our mice and our rats, most of our animals go home within two to four days of their phone meeting. Which is fantastic because it means they are going to their new home relatively quickly.”
Dog adoptions take slightly longer, as the introductions with their new family need to be done outside. Weather at this time of year can cause delays, so on average dogs are going home within a week or two of being put up for adoption.
Even if you aren’t looking for a new family member this holiday season, you many know someone who is. Just sharing information with your social networks can help an animal find their new home. Or, if you are financially able to do so, donations made at https://guelphhumane.ca/donate-online/ will help to cover the costs of those animals who do not find homes this month – or those who are surrendered over the holidays and who may need urgent veterinary care. GHS receives no government funding for their charitable work. The care of all animals at GHS is only possible thanks to the generosity of community donors.
From Ginny, the beautiful calico cat who has been in GHS’s care for 150+ days, to Jax, who recently underwent eye removal surgery, there are so many animals in our community who are hoping to find their “happy tail” in time for the holidays.
Please note: if you no longer see an animal on the Available Animals page, this indicates that enough adoption applications have been received that a suitable match is likely, and no further applications are needed.
About the Guelph Humane Society
The Guelph Humane Society advocates for all animals, and in particular those animals whose lives it can influence, through care, education, community support, protection, and leadership. Founded in 1893, the Guelph Humane Society provides care and shelter for approximately 3,000 homeless, stray, injured and abused animals each year in Guelph and Wellington County. GHS is a registered charitable, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding. Visit www.guelphhumane.ca to discover more.
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