Cumberland County Animal Services rolling out new mobile adoption van in the spring

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Cumberland County Animal Services has rolled out its latest tool to maintain a reduced capacity at their shelters.

In a press release, county officials say the department received the custom Mobile Adoption Center (MAC) through a grant program from the Stanton Foundation.

Elaine Smith, the director of the animal services department, tells Eyewitness News it'll have a major impact on how they bring adoptable pets to the community.

"A lot of people are somewhat reluctant to come to a shelter to look for a pet. Either they feel like it's going to be a sad experience or they, you know, feel like they're going to struggle to look at a lot of animals and just pick one," Smith said.

Since the start of the pandemic, the animal shelter has been able to keep a healthy amount of pets at their facility. Smith says, because of people quarantining or just working from home, they've seen an abundance of individuals adopt or foster dogs and cats.

"It's been amazing. Since March, no euthanasia for space, and that is unheard of in this shelter," Smith added.

As of the start of January, Smith tells ABC 11 they are about two-thirds capacity, also utilizing other programs and options to make sure there is a good ratio of pets to staff, amid the ongoing pandemic.

"We've started some different programs to try to ensure that we don't bring any animals into the shelter that we don't have to," Smith said.

Smith says the mobile adoption van can transport up to 21 animals throughout the county, also serving as a resource for disaster evacuations, animal cruelty cases, and a mobile hub for vaccinations. The van comes with an A/C and heater and different stations for multi-purpose use.

The Animal Services department plans to bring the van to different outdoor events; however, until COVID-19 restrictions are loosened, Smith doesn't expect the resource to be used until Spring.

"We're really hoping that come spring this baby is going to be rolling, and we're going to be having pets all over the community," Smith said.

The department hopes this mobile operation center will allow them to keep that capacity down post-COVID-19.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.