Finding a ‘fur-ever’ home

Almost Home remains operational amid COVID-19 shutdowns

-Daily Freema-Journal photo by Kelby Wingert Almost Home Manager Rachel Buchanan holds Sabanna, a 5-year-old domestic shorthair who has been at the Almost Home shelter since January 2018. Sabanna is looking for her fur-ever home.

While school is out and many adults are working from home to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, this could be the perfect time for some families to welcome a new four-legged, furry family member.

Almost Home Humane Society of North Central Iowa, 725 S. 32nd St., is currently closed to the public. However, the shelter is still accepting adoption applications and setting up appointments for individuals to come into the facility and meet their new furry friend.

Even with being closed, the shelter is seeing many adoptions during this time, said Shelter Manager Rachel Buchanan.

“We’ve been sending home a lot of animals,” she said. “We’ve been closed to the public for just over two weeks and in the past two weeks, we’ve probably done a dozen adoptions, at least.”

Buchanan said that right now is a good time for families to adopt pets because they can be home with the new pet for several days to help the animal’s adjustment to the new home.

Murdock, a 3-year-old male domestic shorthair, is available for adoption at Almost Home. While Murdock is tolerant of other cats, he prefers to be the only pet in the home.

“I do think that right now is a good time for people adopting pets, as long as they understand that once their schedule returns to normal that the pet is going to have to adjust again,” she said. “If they’re working from home now, but once they go back to work, if they’re working 60 hours a week and they’re gone for 18 hours a day, maybe that isn’t the best decision in the long term.”

Despite many businesses sending their employees to work from home, Almost Home relies on its small staff to keep the facility running and care for the 54 cats and 27 dogs the shelter currently houses. While the staff of six does what it can during the day, the dogs and cats aren’t getting the level of socializing they were when volunteers were able to come in and play and spend time with them.

Adoption fees range from $125 to $200 for dogs, and $75 to $120 for cats, depending on the animal’s age.

Almost Home has done a fostering program with some of its animals, Buchanan said, but they normally foster out the animals that need extra attention or extra care like pregnant cats and animals with health conditions. The shelter doesn’t foster out many of its animals because they tend to not get adopted as quickly in foster homes, Buchanan said.

Animals available for adoption can be viewed on the Almost Home website, www.almosthomeiowa.org. The online application to adopt is also available on the website.

Charlie, a 4-year-old husky-shepherd mix, has been at Almost Home for almost two years, and is available for adoption. This good boy is looking for an active family, but preferably with no small children or small pets, as his energy may be too much for them.

Although the shelter is closed to the public until further notice, it is still accepting donations of pet food and cat litter. Donors are asked to leave the bags of food or litter outside the front door and staff will bring them in periodically throughout the day.

For more information about the shelter and its needs, call 515-955-8343.


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