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Fairbanks animal shelter: How to adopt a pet

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 4:15 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Every week this station features a furry friend from the Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Shelter looking for a forever home on the weekly feature, “Pet of the Week.” But how does one go about adopting a new pet?

The first thing to do is check the shelter’s website.

Kimberly Imbert, Animal Shelter Operations Supervisor with Fairbanks North Star Borough Animal Shelter told us, “The adoption process is pretty simple and streamlined as long as you have a good internet connection. We use the website phshelter.com, and that is directly attached to the database that we use to intake animals. So you view animals on that website and you can see all of the information that we have. Sometimes we have a lot of information and sometimes we don’t, but everything we have we try to share on that website. We do write-ups and we also do videos for animals as time allows so you can have a virtual visit in essence.”

Due to the pandemic, people are not able to physically interact with the animals during the adoption process. They can however view the animal with a no-contact visit where an animal tender will interact with the animal for the potential pet owner to view. Once an animal is selected, all that is left to do is make an appointment.

“During the phone call you set up a time for an appointment, either the same day or the next day, and you also give them all of your information so that all the paperwork’s ready to go when you come in. Then you arrive at the time of your appointment, view the animal, make your decision, process the paperwork and payment, and then you receive your animal through the drop-off cages - and that process is approximately 15 minutes,” said Imbert.

The shelter learns all it can about each animal up for adoption and shares that knowledge with any potential new pet owner. This will include age, breed, and behavior of the animal.

“We try to pass on all of that information that we do have, however we obtained it - either from observations or from previous owners - to the adopters so that we can make sure it’s a good fit. We sometimes also designate animals as special needs, and those have special requirements to make sure they succeed in their new home. So if they don’t get along with certain animals or younger people, we’ll put restrictions on some animals if they need it just to make sure they can succeed in their new home,” said Imbert.

The shelter accepts both strays and pet surrenders through use of the drop off cages. While a simple procedure, Imbert emphasized it is important to follow all the steps to ensure the best for the animal being dropped off. “If you find a stray or you need to surrender your pet, our drop off cages are open 24 hours a day at this time. They are on the side of our building and they are heated indoors. So you go into those drop off cages, find the appropriate paperwork because it’s different for a stray animal versus your own animal, and you fill that out as best as you can and make sure you sign it. Then you put the paper in the drop box and you put the animal in the kennel, and then lock that kennel so the animal is safe and secure. Then we receive that animal on the other side of the cages.”

For more information, visit the shelter’s website.

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