Adoption silver lining during COVID-19

Staying healthy, learning new work habits, adjusting to social distancing—it’s challenging, right? Navigating this difficult time is no small feat for anyone. As soon as Denver’s Stay at Home Order went into effect, the Dumb Friends League saw a spike in pet adoptions. This surprising side effect of COVID-19 was great for the animals in the League’s care and yet tricky for the organization to limit exposure of our team and our patrons to minimize health risks, support our community and help the animals in our care.

The League began a new Foster to Adopt program to meet the needs of getting animals in loving homes as quickly as possible. As things evolved, we transitioned to virtual adoptions by appointment to maintain our health and serve these animals. It was a somewhat fluid process as we lived and learned, but we’re still using it today – and it’s working.

Let’s take a look at some happy tale pandemidoptions …

Jane and her family lost their cat, Max, (a League alum) to cancer, and it took time for their hearts to heal before they were ready to adopt again. When their three college-aged boys came home early due to COVID-19, the family decided it was the perfect time to adopt, and they scheduled a virtual adoption appointment.

“We loved Max, our previous cat so much, and specifically requested a senior cat when we filled out the virtual adoption form,” said Jane. “Callie, our adoption counselor suggested two different pets to consider. They both sounded great, but we focused on Truman (his name was Warwick on the website). Callie sent us a picture and we knew right then that he was our choice!”

Truman enjoys being showered with love and attention from the entire family, maybe less so from the family’s 14-year old dog. “Well, they mostly ignore each other,” said Jane, “but they got used to each other after just a few days.” The sweet cat has also found places to explore in his new home (especially at night) and many beds to relax.

“Truman started off just staying in the basement, where I work during the day, but now he’s venturing upstairs regularly,” said Jane. “He’s a wonderful addition to our family! We’re so happy to have a new furry friend in our family. He gives us many hours of entertainment. The virtual adoption process went smoothly. It was very organized, and although it seemed crazy to adopt before meeting Truman, it worked!”

Feline best friends add double the love to their new home

Shepard and Rose (formerly Fitz and Salines) joined Lexi’s family in May. While two new additions may seem like a pawful, Lexi liked both cat’s descriptions from the adoption counselor she worked with, and she liked the idea of a bonded pair. “At this point,” said Lexi, “they are inseparable.”

The duo spent most of their first night hiding under Lexi’s bed, but she gave her new loves the time and space they needed to acclimate, and now Shepard and Rose only go under the bed to play.

“Both cats are loving and very affectionate, and they enjoy spending their days sitting in the window and playing with each other,” said Lexi. “They are both very food motivated and will do anything for treats.”

Lexi is learning that Rose tends to get the “zoomies” at night and how to recognize when Shepard wants attention. “Rose is fantastic with my kids and doesn’t mind being picked up on a regular basis, and Shepard is getting used to the idea of being held, even temporarily,” said Lexi. “Shepard likes to attack limbs under blankets and has been known to fall off a bed once or twice in the process.”

The virtual adoption process may seem strange to some, but not for Lexi, she appreciated the process because it allowed her to adopt based on personalities versus looks of the cats, which made her feel like the fit was better than if she had seen them first. “I loved how simple the process was, and I loved the time the screener took to try and match me with the best cats,” said Lexi. “I had a few cats in mind, and we talked about who would be best in my household. Now that Rose and Shepard are home, I couldn’t imagine having any other cats and having any other companions. We were matched really well, and I’m sincerely grateful for that.”

Large lap dog helps heal a broken heart

After Micah’s best buddy, Baxter, passed away in March, it was time to fill the void in his heart with a new companion. Initially, Micah was hoping to adopt one of the four Great Dane/Rottie puppies we received, but they were adopted before his appointment. However, other dogs piqued his interest.

Micah worked with his adoption counselor Jasmine to review his list against what was known about the available pups. None of the dogs Micah was interested in was a good fit for his home, which also included a cat, but in a twist of fate, Jasmine suddenly said, “He’s been released! I have a unicorn for you.” Micah had no idea what she meant by that, but Jasmine explained that we had a Goldendoodle that was just released. Nothing in the dog’s records indicated aggression toward cats, only that he was very timid, so Micah decided to go ahead and pick him up.

Tobi Wan Kenobi spent his first day in his new home exploring the backyard and then ventured inside, where he hopped on the loveseat and made himself comfortable. “I sat in the other seat and started to watch the news,” said Micah. “Tobi got up and decided he was going to sit in my lap–a 90-pound lapdog. Hahahaha!”

Tobi spends weekdays relaxing at home, and on the weekends, he and Micah enjoy time together walking, running errands and getting to know one another. “Tobi’s personality is still coming out, and he does new things all the time,” said Micah. “He’s going on his first trip over the 4th to go meet his grandma and grandpa and explore the forests above Durango.”
For Micah, the virtual adoption process “wasn’t too bad.” Admittedly, he would have liked to see pictures, but Tobi was exactly as he thought he’d be, just a little more tan.

“I think we are going to be good for each other,” said Micah. “I still talk to Baxter as I pass by the little shrine I have for him, but Tobi Wan fills the hole in my heart. He’s also learning that I have a lot of love to give him.”

Visit our adoptions page or call 303.751.5772 to read about pets in need of loving homes. All adoptions include spay or neuter surgeries, age-appropriate vaccinations, a microchip ID and a free wellness visit with a participating veterinarian.

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