FREDERICK COUNTY, Md (WDVM) — At the end of march, the Frederick County Animal Shelter was set to launch virtual adoptions, but that was halted after the Maryland Governor’s stay at home order.
During that time, local resident, Debby Moone was forced to sit and wait for the chance to take home 8-year-old cat resident, Laelah, who Moone said would be the perfect fit for her family.
“We did call several times to make sure that she didn’t get given away or that somebody else didn’t get her,” Moone said.
On Monday, the shelter announced they would re-launch the effort.
After weeks of reevaluation, the shelter will now make cats only available for adoptions and the application process has become more in-depth.
“Before, we were giving people more an opportunity to decide on their own what pet they were interested in. Now, we’re trying to do more of a match-making service,” explained humane education with the Frederick County Animal Shelter, Bethany Davidson.
The application now asks additional questions about a potential adopter’s home environment and if they’re cat savvy.
“We can take all of that information and look at the animals that we have available and see what animals are actually going to fit into their homes, families,” Davidson explained, “Which we think is especially important because we are not allowing people to come in and meet the animals beforehand.”
The shelter will pick up to three cats best suited for an adopter and give photos, videos and even more information about them.
When adopters are ready to pounce on their new pet, they’ll go through a detailed phone interview before getting the go-ahead to pick up their new pet in a shelter-provided cardboard carrier and meet for the first time.
“That’s going to further limit our exposure to the public, and the public’s exposure to us,” said Davidson.
The adoption fee has gone up by five dollars to accommodate the cardboard carrier. The new total is $102.50.
There’s already at least one success story from this new adoption process.
“The biggest concern was that she wasn’t going to like us and fortunately she does. She runs the house now, she’s hilarious. She had just adjusted just wonderfully,” Moone.
Staff say they’re currently not accepting applications for dogs. They say finding a forever home for a dog need in-person meetings.
Since virtual adoptions re-launched on Monday, the shelter received seven applications.