Introducing Limited Contact Adoptions: FAQs
After careful consideration and research to determine the safest way to resume adoptions during COVID-19, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is introducing limited contact adoptions at its animal centres across the province.
The animals in our centres have been receiving excellent care from our frontline animal care team members. Following the recommendations from the government and health officials, we closed our animal centres to the public and instead focused our energy on one-on-one animal care and enrichment. This extra time with our team members has kept our furry friends happy and healthy and has prepared them to meet their new families. We are now ready to safely see them off to loving homes.
To view animals available for adoption, visit ontariospca.ca/adopt
Frequently Asked Questions
How will limited contact adoptions work?
We want to make this a fun, safe and happy experience for the animals, adopters and our team members. Potential adopters will be able to view adoptable animals on our website, ontariospca.ca/adopt.
After filling out our Meet Your Match® survey online to help match them with compatible animals, potential adopters can make an appointment with their local animal centre to learn more about the animal they are interested in adopting, arrange an e-meet and greet online and complete adoption paperwork digitally.
Team members will then set an appointment for the adopter to pick up their new friend. New protocols will ensure physical distancing is maintained to limit contact, while ensuring team members are present to help see that animal off with their new family and answer any questions.
How will animals be picked up?
Animals will be accompanied by team members at all times during the limited contact adoption process. At the adopter’s appointment time, small animals and cats will be inside a carrier and will be placed on a table momentarily and always under supervision. The team member will then step back to maintain physical distancing to allow the adopter to pick up their new friend.
Dogs will be brought out on secure leashes and safely tethered in the animal centre’s designated adoption pick up area momentarily, and always under supervision. The team member will step back to allow the adopter to unclip their new friend and take him or her home.
Our team members will always be on hand to ensure a smooth transition and answer any questions. Potential adopters can expect the same thorough, thoughtful and compassionate adoption experience that the Ontario SPCA has always delivered.
What if someone doesn’t have access to the Internet for a virtual adoption process?
We recognize that access to technology can be a challenge for some potential adopters. We will work with these adopters on a one-on-one basis to try to find a process that works for them while still operating safely.
What protective measures are in place to keep team members and public safe?
We continue to follow the directives of the government and health officials. Our team members are practicing physical distancing, following rigorous hand-washing protocols and will be wearing masks and gloves when facilitating adoptions. To further reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, appointments must be made to adopt an animal. Hand sanitizer will also be provided when adopters arrive to their appointment, and adoption areas will be sanitized between use.
Can people come into your centre to look at animals?
Potential adopters can view animals available for adoption from the safety and comfort of their own home by visiting our website, ontariospca.ca. They will also have the option to participate in a video meeting with the animal they are interested in adding to their family.
By moving meet and greets with animals online and scheduling appointments to pick up animals, we are able to minimize the number of people on site at any given time, which will reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Potential adopters can expect the same thorough, thoughtful and compassionate adoption experience that the Ontario SPCA has always delivered.
How will people meet the animal they’re interested in adopting to know it’s a good match?
As we navigate these unusual times, we have observed how our partners at other SPCAs and humane societies have introduced limited contact adoptions with great success. While our adoption process may now look different, our standard adoption process still applies and requires adopters to take part in the ASPCA’s science-based Meet Your Match® program. This helps ensure we are sending adopters home with their best match. Meet Your Match ® evaluates an animal’s behaviour and interests and matches them to an adopter’s preferences so that you take home a companion you can really click with. Wherever possible, we will also use videos and virtual technology to help potential adopters meet and interact with the animal they are interested in adopting.
What happens if someone adopts an animal and then wants to return it?
The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has a very low return rate. Our standard adoption process includes the Meet Your Match ® program, which evaluates an animal’s behaviour and interests and matches them to an adopter’s preferences so that you take home a pet you can really click with.
While we do our best to facilitate lifetime matches, there are situations when a family isn’t the right fit for an animal. As an open admission, for life organization, we will continue to welcome animals back into our care by appointment. We have a successful adoption program and will find the right home for those animals if they do need to return.
Will there be an increased wait time to adopt an animal?
Adopters who contact us to express interest in adopting an animal will have the first opportunity to meet that animal. We will do our best to facilitate adoptions as quickly as possible while staying true to our goal of operating safely and adhering to our adoption principles to help ensure the matches we make are for life.
Do you expect that some of these animals may have behaviour problems after being in a shelter so long?
The animals in our centres have been receiving excellent care from our frontline animal care team members over the past several months.
Every animal that comes to us receives an individual care plan, which includes enrichment activities to keep them happy, healthy and socialized. The extra time team members have had to devote to one-on-one attention has been particularly beneficial for animals who were shy, or who needed extra time to work on training and behaviour.
This extra time spent with team members has kept our furry friends happy and healthy and has prepared them to meet their new families.
For a behind-the-scenes look at how our team members are keeping the animals happy, follow us on social media @ontariospca.
What is the process if we want to find a new home for our animal through the Ontario SPCA?
If you need to re-home an animal, please call your local Ontario SPCA animal centre to discuss your needs. Urgent re-homing requests will be facilitated by appointment where we are able to assist.
Three cheers for the volunteers!
Three cheers for the volunteers! Keep doing wonderful work, thank you!