Just as COVID-19 safety measures have altered just about everything else in our area, it has also affected pet adoptions.
To keep interactions as safe as possible, nearby Bucks County SPCA has moved to an all-appointment method of uniting adoptable dogs and cats with interested pet lovers.
Cindy Kelly, BCSPCA Director of Communications said, “The appointment schedule we have moved to for all services is a different way of operating for us. But it’s really the only way we can control social distancing, in addition to our other health-safety measures of mask usage, hand sanitizing and diligent disinfecting and cleaning.”
Adopters, Kelly reports, have adapted well. “They really love it,” she said. “Within their scheduled times, they get an hour to themselves of excellent service, all the focus and attention to ask the questions and meet the animals they’re interested in.”
The operating procedures under COVID are also complicating what Kelly calls the shelter’s annual “kitten season,” a time when the local cat population burgeons.
Last year, the BCSPCA helped more than 700 young cats, relying on a team of in-home foster-care providers. The procedures were tweaked to successfully allow for social distancing and contactless exchanges. Volunteers are now being solicited to accommodate the 2021 need.
COVID has also caused the BCSPCA to revise its approach to training and behavior modification.
Knowing that families with young children and a new pet in the home can become overwhelming, the shelter launched a pet behavior helpline.
Free advice from the Director of Animal Behavior is available to any Bucks County pet owner, whether that pet was obtained from BCSPCA or not. Pooch problems or cat concerns can be submitted by phone (215.794.7425 x113) or email.
“The idea is to help people keep their pets in their home,” Kelly said.
Information on these and other BCSPCA programs is available online.