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Finding Homes: Just a month since opening, Cape Coral Animal Shelter has already matched more than 80 pets with a forever home

By Staff | Apr 30, 2020

At Cape Coral’s new animal shelter, four-legged friends are finding homes as fast as they’ll steal your heart.

Just after a month since opening its doors – somewhat thanks to the coronavirus – more than 80 animals have been adopted at Cape Coral Animal Shelter.

The shelter’s clinic has also started operating at limited functionality a few days a week, which saw many residents turn out to have their furry friends checked on.

“Right now, we’re not doing anything major yet, but we’ve done wellness checks, vaccines, X-rays, things like that,” said Liz McCauley, the shelter’s executive director. “Just general veterinary visits. It’s been packed every day.”

The shelter had members of the public sign up on a sheet at the door, then return to their car to wait until they are notified via text message that they could be seen.

Although the shelter is closed for public visitation, those interested in adopting a pet can make an appointment to visit the shelter online or by phone.

This is a process McCauley will continue even when things start to reopen.

“We’re going to continue to do all of our adoptions by appointment even when we open the shelter back up again,” she said. “It’s just a really good model for us.”

McCauley said the response from the community since the shelter has started putting up animals for adoption has been overwhelming, along with all of the support from the community when it came to raising the money to get the facility built in the first place – the first of its kind in a growing city.

“It’s beyond words,” she said of how it feels to be able to find so many pets new homes. “It makes me beyond happy to see all of these families (come adopt). We’re getting amazing animals from all the municipal shelters. All around, it has been an amazing experience.”

McCauley and her staff are keeping up with sanitation in the shelter between scheduled visits.

The shelter uses a product called 1-Stroke to disinfect the building. It is a hospital-grade, animal-care-grade substance, something they use all the time. It is mixed with water for balanced dilution and left to sit on surfaces for 10 to 15 minutes.

They have limited their volunteer schedule to keep numbers down in the building and their by-appointment operation has made them able to limit how many at a time are under the same roof.

When it comes to the limited clinic operations, the shelter is in an “on-the-fly” mode depending on when they can have veterinarians come in for the day. Last week they were open for three days but no schedule is set in stone.

“Until we get back into the swing of things, we will just do these random days for now,” McCauley said. “We’re looking forward serving the community full-time.”

The public can stay posted on when they will offer clinic services on the shelter’s website and Facebook page.

To schedule an appointment online, visit CapeCoralAnimalShelter.com or call 239-573-2002.

Cape Coral Animal Shelter is at 325 S.W. 2nd Ave.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj