3 Quick & Juicy Virtual Adoptions Tips

Earlier this summer, we posted Dr. Cristie Kamiya’s account of how Humane Society Silicon Valley has been dealing with—and overcoming—many of the challenges brought on by COVID-19. The Milpitas, CA, agency has taken their adoptions virtual, and they recently reported that since shelter-in-place started, they’ve found homes for over 1,700 animals—and the demand for adoption far exceeds the number of animals available. We’re passing on 3 tips that Dr. Kamiya shared with us. And learn about a related webinar happening September 9.

Frontload your slow-track animals

Because potential adopters are scheduling their adoption appointments virtually now, we have quick visibility into what people are looking for. This gives us the opportunity to prioritize appointments for some of our more difficult to place (slow track) animals. If we get interest in any of these animals, they are bumped to the top of the line and they get an appointment first.

Virtual appointments

Utilizing Zoom for appointments is so effective! Our staff can chat with the entire family at once, and some families will even give our adoption counselors virtual tours of their homes. It has allowed us to level load the work over the entire week, versus having it concentrated on the weekends, as in pre-COVID times.

Sign on the dotted (on)line

Using DocuSign for adoption contracts has been wonderful! It has eliminated the need for any paper records, and it’s improved our recordkeeping and efficiency.

Visit HSSV’s website for more on their adoptions process.

If you are doing virtual adoptions at your agency and have a tip to share, please leave a comment. And if you’d like to learn more about HSSV is adjusting processes and programs during the pandemic, join Dr. Kamiya next Wednesday, September 9, for her 3 ET/noon PT webinar, “Scaling High Quality, High Volume Foster Care in Times of Crisis.”


Cristie Kamiya, DVM, MBA

Dr. Cristie Kamiya serves as Chief of Shelter Medicine at Humane Society Silicon Valley and is one of only a handful of residency-trained veterinarians in the specialized field of shelter medicine. A member of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV), Dr. Kamiya led the HSSV initiative to become the first model shelter in the nation to meet all the ASV Guidelines.


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