Cass County Animal Control offering curbside adoptions

CASSOPOLIS — Those looking for a furry friend to keep them company while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic can now adopt from a local shelter.

Monday, Cass County Animal Control began once again offering adoptions after previously ceasing them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The shelter is now offering curbside adoption services, allowing residents to call ahead to set an appointment to meet with an animal outside of the shelter to provide for proper social distancing. When a meeting is arranged, potential adopters will be given one hour to walk and spend time with a dog they are hoping to adopt. Animal control officials said potential adopters would need to fill out a questionnaire to ensure they are healthy before visiting and that sanitation stations would be available during appointments to abide by COVID-19 mandates.

Due to a reliance on transfer partners, the shelter currently does not have any cats available for adoption.

“Since we have been getting a lot of email inquiries about the animals we have here, we thought why not invite people to spend some time outside and walk some of these dogs you are thinking about adopting,” said Ron Butts, Cass County Animal Control Director.

Butts said the curbside adoptions, which have already resulted in a few successful adoptions, allow potential adopters to make an informed decision about the pet they are looking to adopt.

“This way, we can keep everyone healthy and out of the shelter itself, but allow people to spend time with a dog to see if it is the one they want to adopt,” Butts said.  “If it all works out, they get to take the dog home.”

Across the country, animal adoptions and fosters have been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shelters in California, Wisconsin and Chicago have reported that they cleared their shelters within days, and states such as New York, North Carolina, Colorado and New Mexico have reported massive upswings in the number of adoptions they have been able to adopt or place out of the shelter.   

As Cass County Animal Control has already had success in its curbside adoption program and an increase in email inquiries about animals, Butts hopes to see the trend of increased adoptions come to Cass County. As many are homebound due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, Butts said adding a pet to the home can make a positive change.

“Dogs and cats are companion animals these days, and with people having to stay at home, they are a good way to keep people busy, keep them company and give them something to take care of,” Butts said. “What’s better to add to a household than a dog or a cat that is needing a home?”

When residents choose to bring a new pet into their home, Butts said he would ask them to consider giving a shelter animal a home as their first choice.

“I would encourage any individual who is considering a new pet into their home to consider their local shelter as their first choice,” he said.

Those looking to set up a curbside adoption appointment can contact the shelter by phone at (269) 445-3701 or by email at ccac@cassco.org.

Potential adopters can view adoptable dogs on Cass County Animal Control’s website, ccacshelter.org.