Animal shelters go virtual to increase pet adoptions

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As of Tuesday night, the Animal Protection Society of Durham has placed every single one of its pets in a home. It's a pretty extraordinary feat given such a sharp downturn in the economy.

Like many businesses, the APS of Durham has turned to social media and the internet to put animals in homes.

"The community has really taken to virtual adoptions, said Executive Director Shafonda Davis. "They love meeting animals through Facebook, doing paperless adoptions. We are amazed at the support we have received."

APS of Durham will post a pup on its website for potential owners to view. The demand is so strong that shelter staffers are struggling to keep up.

"As soon as our animals hit the website, they're getting applications. This morning, we posted an animal at 9 and we had two possible applicants, so our struggle has been really getting the animals ready to go home in this environment," Davis said.

With so many people jumping into a virtual workspace and video chatting with family and friends, this new normal has opened a portal that didn't exist for pet adoptions.

"It's amazing that people are ready for this now," Davis said. "They are falling in love with animals like they do with people in many ways now. You can meet someone and fall in love and then just meet them at a later date and that's what's happening with our babies."

The Griffin family in Burlington couldn't be happier with the process. More time at homemade this a great time to bring on Lucy. Carey Griffin surprised her two children with Lucy a couple of weeks ago.

"I'm not typically at home as much so I felt like it was a good time to introduce her," Griffin said.

She agreed that though not ideal, a virtual introduction was better than she expected.

"I was a little nervous," Griffin said. "I was able to FaceTime with the foster mom, Stephanie. She was so sweet; she was able to let me see Lucy with her dog in the backyard and she answered all my questions."

APS of Durham is creating an online fundraiser as well as setting up a virtual dog walk.
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