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“A good time to adopt”: Scott animal shelter closed, but adoptions continue

Holly Viers • Apr 17, 2020 at 1:00 PM

GATE CITY — Though the building itself has closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Scott County Animal Shelter is still working to find forever homes for its animals.

Jake Dougherty, animal control officer, said the shelter is adopting animals by appointment only during the temporary closure. He added that this is a good time to adopt, as many people are staying at home and would have plenty of time to bond with a new pet.

“This would be a good time for the animals to bond with their new family,” Dougherty said. “We’re doing everything we can here daily to sanitize and make sure that everyone’s safe and well here, so there’s no reason not to come out and see us.”

Have adoptions or rescues been affected by the pandemic?

Adoptions at the shelter have continued near their average rate since the facility’s closure on March 24, Dougherty said. The shelter, which houses only dogs, has adopted out 13 pets since it closed, 12 of which were in April.

“Really our numbers haven’t been affected any,” Dougherty said. “The Humane Society has pulled seven animals (for rescue) since we closed to the public, and we’ve had three return-to-owners.”

As of Wednesday, there were 14 dogs awaiting adoption at the shelter, Dougherty said.

How can people adopt an animal?

Those who are interested in adopting during this time should call the shelter at (276) 452-1325. A shelter representative will schedule an appointment between 8 a.m. and noon so that there isn’t more than one family on site at once, Dougherty said.

Prospective adopters will meet the dog outside at the back of the building, weather permitting, in an effort to keep people out of the shelter itself.

“Basically what we do is we ask people all the questions: ‘Have you been around anyone that’s sick, in your family or otherwise? Have you had a fever or any symptoms of COVID?’ ” Dougherty said. “We ask all those questions, and as long as they answer no to everything, they can come.”

Are there any fees?

At the beginning of this month, the shelter enacted a new $30 adoption fee per animal, which includes a five-in-one vaccine to protect the animal against contagious diseases.

The shelter also requires the animal to be spayed or neutered within 30 days of adoption. Puppies must be spayed or neutered when they become old enough, Dougherty added.

How can people view adoptable animals?

Prospective adopters can view all available animals on the shelter’s Facebook page: “Scott County Virginia Animal Shelter Adoptables.” For questions about an animal or to schedule an appointment, call (276) 452-1325.

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