Cat shelter launches virtual adoption system

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The shelter launched “CHarmony,” a feline personality typing system designed to ensure cats and prospective cat parents will be a good match. Courtesy Facebook.com

Carol’s Ferals developed a cat personality profile and virtual adoption system to give local cats the best shot at a good home.

Grand Rapids-based ​Carol’s Ferals, 4600 Knapp St. NE, resumed adoptions with new systems and protocols as of May 1 after suspending adoption services in March so the shelter could adapt to the restrictions surrounding COVID-19.

Carol’s Ferals is now offering virtual adoptions and feline personality profiling with contactless pickup.

“We are really excited about this new process that will match cats with new families on a new level,” said Sarah Gerstner, director of Carol’s Ferals.

The shelter launched “CHarmony,” a feline personality typing system designed to ensure cats and prospective cat parents will be a good match.

The Carol’s Ferals care team spends “significant time” assessing and observing their cats’ behaviors and interests to create each personality profile. Examples of traits that would be listed on an assessment include a cat’s behavior patterns in terms of play, exploring, vocalization, etc.

Prospective adopters are asked to fill out a cat adopter survey that assesses how they see the cat’s role in their home and lifestyle. Based on the results of the survey, the cat and prospective adopter are matched through the CHarmony program, though potential adopters are not limited to choosing cats only within that personality type.

“We expect to see a positive increase in adoptions and a similar decrease in the number of returns with the implementation of CHarmony,” said Carol Manos, founder of Carol’s Ferals.

Prospective adopters will “meet” cats during a virtual adoption counseling session. The​ meetings​ take place via Zoom with one of Carol’s Ferals adoption team members. ​

An adoption counseling session is an opportunity for potential adopters to meet cats virtually, learn about their CHarmony results, ask questions about the specific cat(s) they are interested in, get answers to general cat care questions and discuss Carol’s Ferals adoption policies. ​

More information on the new adoption process is available at carolsferals.org​.

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