Grand tours and a great lunch were on the agenda at the Williams Lake SPCA shelter over the weekend.
The shelter staff and volunteers welcomed 40 visitors Saturday, May 25, and showed them what happens between the time an animal arrives at the shelter and the time it goes home with its new people.
Four kittens were adopted into their “forever homes” and young adult calico cat “Momma,” went home with a new owner.
Volunteers Colin Noll and Kristen Stark cooked and served lunch for guests.
“We showed people how we do an intake, whether an animal was found or surrendered,” explained shelter manager Liz Dighton.
“We find out where they were found, how long they’ve been hanging around someone’s house; we do a health exam and check them for microchips or tattoos, in case they belong to someone and are missing. We show how we vaccinate, give them de-wormer, double-check their ears.”
Visitors saw the rooms where animals have to stay for four days while their vaccines kick in and while the staff monitors their health to make sure the animal isn’t going to spread any illness throughout the shelter.
“Many of the symptoms we see in animals are made much worse by the stress of being contained in an unfamiliar environment,” Dighton said. “That one of the reasons that four days is so important.”
She said that after the four day period, if the animal is healthy and friendly, they are booked for a spay or neuter. “Then they’re moved to another room where they wait in kennels for the vet visit. Both clinics are really good about getting us in quickly, so usually in a few days they’re back here resting in their kennels.”
“After that they’re moved to a communal area where they’re up for adoption.”
The actual adoption process includes an exchange of information, where shelter staff share with the prospective adoptive family everything they can about the animals, Dighton said.
“We also find out everything we can about the home and environment where the animal is going,” Dighton said. “This will help ensure that the right pet is going to the right family.”