Alachua County Animal Resources & Care resumed adoption of shelter dogs after a five-week quarantine.
After managing an outbreak of distemper, the shelter, formerly Alachua County Animal Services, introduced the “Meet Your Match” adoption program Feb 8.
Adopters can pay $14 during February and answer some basic questions about themselves and their lifestyle to be matched with their perfect companion, the county announced online.
Staff evaluates the dogs by their behavioral traits like age, activity and compatible lifestyle and categorizes them, said Ed Williams, Alachua County Animal Resources & Care director.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals research shows the program creates better matches and more successful adoptions, he said.
While staff managed the outbreak, the facility lost four dogs to distemper. It received more dogs to care for and kept them separated from those being treated.
Staff were stretched thinner, Williams wrote. While closed to adoptions and transfers, they were still responsible for the intake of stray, aggressive and abandoned animals.
Dr. Amy Stone, a clinical assistant professor at the UF Small Animal Hospital, said it was time for the facility to reopen and she is glad it is.
“I think they’re a much needed service,” Stone said.
She understood the process of disinfecting a working environment and related it to the staff’s hard work.
“They didn’t do nothing and sit there,” she said. “They cleaned the holy heck out of everything to be able to kill the virus and get everything back in working order.”
As of Feb 10., 26 dogs have been adopted since the reopening. 24 dogs were transferred to other Placement Partners, Williams wrote.
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“Their path to adoption was delayed,” he said. “That caused some of them to have behavioral challenges, so the more quickly we can get them out of the shelter and get them into homes, the better off they’ll be.”
The shelter’s previous adoption program allowed adopters to browse the pets they wanted to take home.
The February special involves the staff more directly. Staff match dogs with the adopters who enter the shelter.
All adoptable cats and dogs are vaccinated, microchipped and sterilized before going home, according to the press release.
“We would love for everybody to come out and visit the animal shelter,” Williams said.
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Thandie Brown is a journalism student at UF and a reporter on the Metro beat. This is her first semester at the Alligator, and when she is not writing, she is photographing. You may find her in the Plaza of Americas dressed in a jeans jacket decorated with her favorite things.