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Iowa City Animal Center reopens for in-person operations after coronavirus closure

Animal center will work on limited hours, capacity

Bella, a 4-year-old Pit Bull, stands up at the window as animal care technician Jen Read walks to the door to see her at
Bella, a 4-year-old Pit Bull, stands up at the window as animal care technician Jen Read walks to the door to see her at the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center in Iowa City on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Animal lovers soon will be able to meet potential pets in person at the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center.

The center announced it will reopen Thursday with limited hours and other restrictions.

The center will receive visitors from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to a city news release.

To promote social distancing, a limited number of people will be allowed to enter the building one at a time, Because the building will remain locked, visitors should call (319) 356-5295 or wait at the door to be let in.

Potential owners will have the option of submitting applications online and viewing animals at the center or virtually. People also can come to the center to receive licensing and dog park permits.

Iowa City announced March 15 that a number of facilities, including the animal center, would close because of the spread of the novel coronavirus. The center continued to accept animals with advance notice and facilitate adoptions online.

Iowa City animal services coordinator Chris Whitmore said operations remained fairly steady during the shelter’s closure, and it has fewer animals than normal at this time of year.

The shelter has about 80 cats and kittens, both in foster homes and at the center, and two dogs ready for adoption. Usually, there are eight or nine adoptable dogs at this time of year, Whitmore said.

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Whitmore is expecting to see more foot traffic as the shelter opens up, and staffers are hoping to accommodate those who don’t have access to the internet as well as those who can do things virtually.

“We’re just trying to make things safe for everyone during this pandemic,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll back to normal hours sooner rather than later.”

Comments: (319) 398-8371; brooklyn.draisey@thegazette.com

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