The Muskoka Animal Centre is allowing adoptions for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

After consideration and research to find the best way to continue adoptions, the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has introduced limited contact adoptions starting on Wednesday at its animal centres across the province.

Potential adopters can now head to the SPCA’s website to begin an online adoption process.

In an interview with MyMuskokaNow, Manager at the Muskoka Animal Centre, Jane McCamus says after months of not being able to find ‘forever homes’ for their animals – it’s a relief to get to this point finally.

“We were so excited to see the support and the interest in the animals, but this is a new process for us to. So, we’re trying to take it slow, make sure we get it right and that we allow adequate time so that people are getting the most out of the adoption, and so is the animal.”

Following the advice of the Ontario government and health professionals, the Ontario SPCA made the decision to close its doors to the public to minimize the movement of people to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Since then, frontline animal care team members have been providing animals awaiting adoption with extra one-on-one enrichment time, which McCamus says has kept them happy and healthy while preparing them to meet their new families.

“So, they got the same love, attention and good care that they’ve always had. We were very committed during that time, and we remain committed to that as well, but it was something that gave us an opportunity to highlight in our day to day activities.”

New protocols will ensure that 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.

McCamus says the process is straight forward – with a focus on the safety of adopters, staff and pets.

“After filling out our Meet Your Match survey online to help match them with compatible animals, potential adopters can make an appointment with the animal centre to learn more about the animal they are interested in adopting and arrange an e-meet and greet online and complete adoption paperwork digitally.”

McCamus adds that following this, team members will then set an appointment for the adopter to pick up their new pet.

To view animals available for adoption, head here.