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Calgary Humane Society introduces online adoption amid COVID-19 outbreak

Brad Nichols, Senior Manager of Animal Cruelty Investigations with the Calgary Humane Society, pets Rambo, a surrendered dog, at the facility in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Dec. 9, 2019.
Brad Nichols, Senior Manager of Animal Cruelty Investigations with the Calgary Humane Society, pets Rambo, a surrendered dog, at the facility in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The Calgary Humane Society closed its doors to the public on March 16 due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

One week after the closure, the organization introduced an online adoption process, enabling residents to find a furry companion during a time of isolation.

“This is a great opportunity to introduce a new pet into the home, as many people currently have more time to spend bonding with their new pet,” Jessica Bohrson with the Calgary Humane Society said.

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“As of March 24, we have begun a modified adoption process and have since been receiving a number of new applications for our adoptable animals.”

READ MORE: Lethbridge animal rescue encourages interested quarantiners to adopt

Since being closed to the public for a number of days, Bohrson said the society is expecting to see an increase in applications in the coming days.

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“It is very important that people continue to consider adopting animals during this crisis,” she said.

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“We haven’t had a large increase in applications, but that is likely.”

LISTEN: The Calgary Human Society switches to online adoption

READ MORE: Officials say currently ‘no evidence’ that pets can be infected with COVID-19

As part of the online system, residents wanting to adopt will complete an online lifestyle survey and then undergo a phone interview, before being invited to visit the animal in-person.

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Bohrson said regulations surrounding entering the facility have also been changed to support safety recommendations during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Those new regulations include: only one person over the age of 18 is allowed to attend the animal meet-and-greet at the facility.

“Our top priority is the safety of our staff and the public,” Bohrson said.

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“The online system helps to ensure this safety is maintained.”