One of the municipal operations that absolutely couldn’t shut their doors when COVID-19 hit New Mexico was the Animal Welfare Department. With dozens of animals looking for forever homes, the mission had to continue with creative pivoting and safe measures. The Animal Welfare Department gave an inside look at what they did to keep patrons and pets safe.
During COVID-19, Animal Welfare had to modify many of its operational strategies to maintain the COVID-safe guidelines of New Mexico and Albuquerque. One of the things they did was adjust schedules so they could remain open. The focus was to make sure that this wouldn’t impact the animals since the shelter couldn’t just shut down.
Animal Welfare also had to change how they did adoptions for their four-legged friends. Shelters conducted animal viewing and adoptions on a first-come, first-serve basis. People interested in adopting a pet would sign up for a virtual line. By doing so, people could head over to the shelter and scan a QR code on the adoption lobby door with a smartphone. They would be contacted by text about their place in line and estimated wait time. When it was their turn, then people could enter the facility after a screening process. Then they would have 45 minutes in which to meet a maximum of three pets and process the adoption paperwork.