BC SPCA asks families to consider adopting pets at this time

Is it time for a new pet?

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the BC SPCA has been inundated with requests from the public asking how they can help animals.

BC SPCA Kelowna branch manager Sean Hogan says their primary goal right now is to get animals from the shelters across the province adopted in new homes. 

They are offering a 50 per cent off reduced adoption rate for any animals adopted between now and Friday, Mar. 27.

"We are trying to reduce the number of animals across the province that are in our shelters, so that we are able to help the most emergency and urgent and vulnerable situations that come our way, and we have a sense that we are not through the dark days yet.

"We have a sense there is more still to come and the reduction in staff and volunteers - people who have had to stay home to protect themselves and/or to be there for a family member - has meant that we’re quite stretched in our resources, but our focus is on getting adoptable animals into homes and out of the shelter."

Hogan says some branches have done well finding forever homes for cats and dogs, but are still looking to get smaller pets like rabbits adopted, such as Vernon, Penticton and Shuswap branches. 

In light of current circumstances and social distancing measures, BC SPCA has created a brand new adoption process, making it possible for prospective pet owners to see animals available for adoption on the website, or submit an online application to adopt. 

"This is exciting actually," says Hogan, "because it means that we can process the application coming into us via email. We can either set up a Skype interview with the person, do a digital introduction or we’ll do a telephone conversation. If we’re in agreement that this is a good match for the animal and the family that’s applying we’ll schedule an appointment for them to come and meet and greet the animal. If it's a good deal, we'll send them on their way." 

Individual branches will stagger appointments to ensure as little contact with the branch as possible, says Hogan.

"Social distancing is being practiced within the branch so by scheduling appointments we’re allowing for people to still help and contribute and also not contribute to more problems with COVID-19."

He is also encouraging the public to donate online in support of the charity, if they are able.

"I know right now might not be the best time to be asking for donations with people being laid off and everything being uncertain, but in order for us to help the most vulnerable and emerging situations for animals, we need to still be there and keep our doors open ... every little bit counts." 

For more information, visit the BC SPCA website

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