Coronavirus News: North Shore Animal League among shelters adjusting to COVID-19

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020
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Sam Ryan has the latest details on animal shelters adjusting to the coronavirus pandemic.

PORT WASHINGTON, Long Island (WABC) -- Many animal shelter doors are physically closed during the coronavirus pandemic, but the animals they house are still looking for their fur-ever homes.

Some are transitioning to online and adoptions by appointment, and North Shore Animal League America on Long Island has made adjustments to its application process during this time.

"We still do our application like we always do and we still screen people the way that we always do," North Shore's Rachael Rudman said. "We're just doing it a little differently, not person to person but over the phone."

Tanner Callicutt works in the restaurant industry and as an actor and has the time now to train a puppy. He first saw Otis on North Shore's website.

"I saw him online on North Shore's website, and I was like, oh, I have to have this little guy," he said. "The quarantine happened, and I was like, when am I going to have another six weeks to be at home with all of my undivided attention on him?"

Before taking Otis home, Callicutt was able to meet him, as North Shore makes arrangements so you can get to know you future pet outside. He says Otis has brought some normalcy and routine into his life.

"It's definitely given structure to my days, wherein normally I think in this time I wouldn't have any structure," he said. "And it's definitely given me a reason to not be in the bed and watching TV all day...The company alone is great in this time."

Still, North Shore stresses that before you make the decision to adopt, keep in mind this is a long-term commitment.

"You know, right now you do have the time to take care of a pet," Rudman said. "But you also have to think about what's going to happen when all this is over and you guys are going back to work and nobody's home."

For Callicutt, he says he understands and is willing to accept the responsibilities.

"I think it's the active decision to in a lot of ways choose this over extraneous things in my social life," he said. "And I know full well that that's a sacrifice that I'll have to make, but also one that I'm very willing to make."

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