During the COVID19 lock-down, we had to develop new ways of doing business. One positive outcome is we learned that some of the changes were very beneficial to the animals. Due to our really positive learning experiences, we’ve decided to continue with operational practices that have been extremely beneficial to the animals.
We found that the animals are less stressed and much healthier when we do not have visitors in our facility. The occurrences of stress-related illnesses, such as Upper Respiratory Infections, were almost non-existent during the shut-down. We now know that having a constant stream of visitors going in and out of our Cat Wing and Dog Wing caused the animals a tremendous amount of stress, and stress results in illness. In fact, our Dog Wing had been closed to visitors even before the pandemic for this reason — the dogs are much calmer and less stressed when they could meet prospective adopters one family at a time in a controlled manner. We have found that cats are also much calmer and less stressed, and much healthier with our appointment system.
We also found that our return rate improved dramatically, and we believe that is because of the meaningful conversations our adoption counselors have with adopters, to help find the right personality of pet to match with your family. Matches are now made based on personality and our knowledge of the cat, not solely on looks or how the cat acts at a particular point in time. We are also continuing what we call “curbside” adoptions for cats, where adopters don’t meet that cat ahead of time. The best way to get to know a cat is in the home, since many cats act very different here at CVHS than they do in a home. All adoptions have a two-week “return” period, a time frame that is usually long enough for a pet to acclimate to their new home. If an adopter has an issue with a new pet, we always ask they call us so we can talk to them about what is happening. If it is not a good match for whatever reason, we will happily take that pet back. (On the few occasions this has happened, we were able to gather valuable information about the cat in a home, and used that information to find that cat their best match. We also fine-tuned what the adopter was looking for, so was able to match them with another cat that suited them better.)
Due to these really important outcomes, we are going to continue to do all business by appointment only, and continue with our successful “curbside” method. We are doing this for the animals. We now know that the animals are much happier and healthier with controlled contact, while they await their new loving homes.
We handle everything (adoptions, surrenders) by appointment. Call us at 476-3811, or email [email protected] to make an appointment. We will get back to you as soon as possible to schedule your phone conversation appointment. We have only two phone lines so sometimes you may get a busy signal if both lines are in use. Thank you for your patience!
- We are closed to casual visitors — you must have an appointment.
- Call to make an appointment if you would like to adopt a pet. Our adoptable pet pages on our website are updated in real time. We will do most of our adoption counseling on the phone ahead of time. It is possible to meet a dog outside in our play yards. For cats, we are asking you to trust us in matching you with the right cat via a phone consultation. We recognize that it doesn’t always work out, so our return policy is a full refund within two weeks, and we will work with you to find the pet that is a better match for you.
- We work hard to provide a consistent and fair adoption process. We do not do any “holds” or take money down to reserve any animal. We schedule appointments as fairly as possible, based on received Adopter Information forms.
- Kittens are in high demand. If you are interested in a kitten you need to get on our “Kitten Waiting List.” Give us a call, leave a message at 476-3811 and leave your name, phone number and email. Even better, email us at [email protected] and we can send you our Adopter Information Form for you to fill out ahead of time. You can also find the form on our website here. Please be patient, we will call you back!
- If you need to surrender your pet, you MUST call to discuss making an appointment for intake. (476-3811). We do what we can to help animals stay in their homes, so if you are considering surrender due to having lost your income, we can help with food; please reach out to us.
- Public dog training classes are in high demand, and we have many dates and times to choose from.
- Donations are still gratefully accepted, and may be left on our covered porch at a time convenient for you. Staff checks the porch regularly to bring donations inside.
We strive to meet the needs of our community, while balancing the needs of our animals and staff. Please understand that our protocols and procedures are thoughtfully created with everyone’s health and safety in mind. Thank you for supporting Central Vermont Humane Society!