NEW ALBANY — Staff at the New Albany Floyd County Animal Shelter have found a way to let potential pet parents meet cats they have up for adoption, even with the shelter still mandated to be closed for safety due to COVID-19.

On Friday, they had three of the 10 cats who live at the shelter at Feeder’s Supply in New Albany — Abner, Orchid and Archimedes. People could come and interact with them, to see if one of them would make a good fit at home.

The cats will be available to visit during regular business hours, and as they are adopted, new cats will be brought from the shelter to be featured.

“I do think it is very important for the families to meet their ideal animal,” Marilee Snider, who handles adoptions at the shelter said. “Because no matter what is said verbally and as honestly as we can talk to people about the animals, you still don’t know because animals are so individual, it may still not be a match.

“So it is very important to meet and interact with the pet to make sure it is an accurate fit.”

Adopters can learn more about the cats’ personalities on the shelter’s Facebook page, like 2-year-old Abner, who Snider said is “relaxed and chill,” she said. “He’s just really awesome and really cute.”

Those who want to adopt can meet the cats in person and complete adoption paperwork online or by calling the shelter.

The public hasn’t been allowed inside the shelter since Gov. Eric Holcomb placed statewide restrictions on various types of businesses, so staff have started trying new ways to find homes for animals, and to progress into reopening in a safe and practical manner.

They haven’t been able to accept owner-surrenders or animals that aren’t an emergency situation, and the only adoptions they’ve done are to people who were already fostering a pet and decided to adopt them.

If someone has contacted the shelter to take their pet, “we are advising if people are able to, to keep them until we can reopen,” Snider said. “And giving them resources to help them, different lost and found pages, Facebook pages.”

The shelter also now has four dogs , which are not at Feeder’s Supply.

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