IONIA — Dogs and cats can be adopted at the Ionia County Animal Shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic, but by appointment only.


The Ionia County Animal Shelter reopened by appointment only on May 5, said Ionia County Director of Animal Care and Control Carly Quinn.


Those interested in adopting, or have an animal to surrender, can contact the animal shelter at 616-527-9040 to set up an appointment with Quinn. If nobody from the shelter answers, Quinn said to leave a voicemail message with a callback number and the shelter will return the call as soon as possible.


“We’ll keep doing that until we open,” Quinn said.


As of Thursday morning, May 7, the shelter had one adoptable dog — an American Bulldog Mastiff Mix named Max — and seven adoptable cats. Quinn said the number of dogs and cats available for adoption can change.


“You never know what’s coming through the door,” Quinn said.


The shelter is about to hit its peak season in terms of adoptable dogs and cats, Quinn said. The shelter was originally closed to the public along with other Ionia County buildings during the pandemic, but Quinn made the decision to reopen by appointment only to get animals new homes while also remaining safe.


“Other shelters are doing the same thing,” Quinn said. “The county thought it was a great idea.”


The shelter hasn’t been too slammed, Quinn said, adding that everything is going fine. The shelter will post available updates on its Facebook page as animals come in, Quinn said. People can also message the Facebook page to contact the shelter.


“That’s a great tool to get a look at what we have,” Quinn said.


Last month, rescues and adoptions helped empty the dog kennels at the Ionia County Animal Shelter during the pandemic.


— Contact reporter Evan Sasiela at esasiela@sentinel-standard.com. Follow him on Twitter @SalsaEvan.