Online pet adoptions getting more common
Potential adopters are screened and meet the animals virtually
Virtual animal adoptions are becoming the norm among various animal welfare groups, as those that moved online during the circuit breaker are continuing with it even after.
When the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) launched its virtual adoptions on June 2, it received more than 400 applications, which caused it to put a hold on applications temporarily.
Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, executive director of SPCA, told The New Paper: "Online adoptions make it more convenient for potential adopters as they do not have to travel, and the availability of the services (is) 24/7.
"The main disadvantage is the lack of interaction with the animals. An in-person meet-and-greet session with an animal cannot compare to a virtual meeting."
Animal welfare groups typically conduct a screening by asking questions. Successful applicants then get to virtually interact with the animal of their choice and are required to give the group a virtual house tour to ensure that it is safe for the incoming pet.
The rehoming department of the group takes the animal to the adopter's home.
The animal then undergoes a mandatory homestay of up to two weeks before the adoption is finalised.
Purely Adoptions has been conducting online adoptions since the start of the circuit breaker and has rehomed three puppies and five cats.
Its founder, Mr Patrick Cher, said: "When we conduct a virtual chat, the adopter can see how the pet interacts with the fosterer. The fosterer will also be able to share the characteristics of the pet with the adopter."
The downside is that the group's understanding of adopters is almost entirely based on the answers they give. Mutual trust is necessary.
Ms Jiny Mohandas, a 39-year-old operations manager at a customer relations company, was able to adopt a dog from Causes for Animals Singapore a month ago, after a two-week process.
During the virtual interaction via a WhatsApp call, she was able to watch it go on a walk with the adoption coordinator and observe the dog's behaviour.
Ms Mohandas said: "Physical adoption drives tend to be crowded. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the number of dogs and can't make a decision. With the video call, I was able to see the dog in its comfort zone."
But some animal welfare groups prefer to keep the process physical.
SOSD put all its adoptions on hold and waited till the end of the circuit breaker to resume rehoming activities.
It conducts mandatory home visits to ensure the place is safe for pets and oversees the physical interactions between the dogs and potential adopters.
Ms Lynnette Chia, who is in charge of rehoming at SOSD, said: "It is easy for people to sign up to adopt a pet with just a click of the mouse.
"However, a dog is a lifetime commitment, and that is why we need to screen and physically interact with the adopters to better understand their intent and to check if they are capable of taking care of the dogs."
Thinking to adopt a pet? Find pet supplies you need at affordable price with Lazada Promo Code