New adoption process helps cats find homes during COVID-19 crisis
(April 8, 2020 – Sherwood, OR) — Cat Adoption Team (CAT) will resume adoptions with new protocols and systems beginning April 8. Due to COVID-19 and its impacts, CAT suspended adoption services in late March while the organization developed a new system for finding cats homes. The shelter is now offering online adoptions with contactless pick-up.
“This is an entirely new process involving several new software systems and policy changes, so some ‘learning curves’ are to be expected,” shares Karen Green, CAT’s executive director. “But we are excited to once again match homeless cats with new families.”
Keeping pets moving through shelters helps ensure that animal organizations are able to continue saving lives. Of course, it’s essential that any adoption system allow for social distancing and limit potential disease exposure.
CAT encourages Oregonians to follow the governor’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” orders. Fortunately, pet adoption is supported by public officials when social distancing and other safety measures can be maintained. And with families at home together, this is a particularly good time for many households to bring home a new pet.
With CAT’s move to online adoptions with curbside pick-up, only about a dozen cats will be made available for adoption at a time. For now, those cats will be cared for, housed at, and picked up from CAT’s main shelter in Sherwood. Ultimately, the shelter plans to resume adoptions from foster care, but is piloting the new system with animals in the shelter for now.
Cats and kittens in foster homes will be made available for adoption or pre-adoption as they are ready for new homes. No home visits are allowed at this time. Following adoption approval, adopters and fosters will follow CAT’s guidelines for a contactless pickup at the foster home .
Online Adoptions FAQs
How do I meet the cats available for adoption?
Prospective adopters will “meet” cats online instead of in person. We are including photos, bios, and videos to help you get to know the cats as much as possible. For any animal listed as available for adoption on CAT’s website, you can click the “Apply to Adopt” button to submit an application for that cat.
To see cats and kittens available for adoption from foster care, please check our Kittens in Foster List and view CAT’s Petfinder listings. To inquire about adopting a pet from foster care, you will contact the foster parent directly using the information provided in the pet’s online profile. If it’s a good fit and the cat/kitten is still available, the foster parent will direct you how to apply for adoption.
What happens when I submit an application online?
Our trained adoption counselors will review applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will receive an email confirming that you have submitted an application. If your application is approved and no other applicants are ahead of you, we will contact you to schedule an online adoption counseling session.
Once you’ve been contacted to schedule this appointment, the animal is “reserved” for you for up to 24 hours while we get your adoption counseling session scheduled. Application approval does not guarantee adoption—adoption approvals happen during the adoption counseling session. We may continue to accept applications for an animal that has approved applicants. However, the cat cannot be adopted by anyone else unless the first approved adoption has been cancelled.
How will I know if the cat I applied for gets adopted by someone else ahead of me?
Once an adoption is finalized, all other applicants will be notified by email that the cat is no longer available. At that point, we encourage you to revisit the Available Cats & Kittens page to see if another cat would be a good fit for you.
What is an “adoption counseling” session?
An adoption counseling session is an opportunity for potential adopters to ask questions about the specific cat they are interested in, as well as get answers to general cat care questions and discuss CAT’s adoption policies. This is an especially important conversation right now since we’ve made some changes to our policies in response to COVID-19 and its impacts. At this session, our trained adoption counselors will also help to ensure that the cat you selected is the right fit for you.
How will I meet with an adoption counselor and complete adoption paperwork?
Your adoption counseling session will take place via Zoom, an online video conferencing system. We have an online process for signing your adoption contract and receiving adoption paperwork. You’ll also pay the adoption fee and schedule appointments online as well.
If my adoption is approved, when will I pick up my new cat?
At this time, all adoption pick-ups will be scheduled as soon as possible following your adoption counseling session. Pick-ups will be done by appointment and take place with a “no contact” process to keep staff, volunteers, and adopter’s safe. You will get all the details about how to schedule and pick-up your cat once your adoption is approved.
Will all cats be spayed/neutered before adoption?
The statewide suspension of spay/neuter surgeries was lifted on May 1, 2020. At that time, CAT resumed this service for shelter cats; all cats and kittens will once again be spayed/neutered prior to adoption.
During the spay/neuter suspension, CAT adopted out a small number of unaltered pets. These adoptions included a free voucher to return to our hospital for spay/neuter once we could resume this service. We are currently in the process of contacting the adopters of these cats to ensure—to our greatest ability—that return for spay/neuter surgery.