Miss Winkles Pet Adoption Center reopens after 16 months

The reopening celebration featured dozens of adoptable dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies.
CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the first time in 16 months, Miss Winkles Pet Adoption Center opened doors to the public.

Within the first hour, more than 100 people had toured the facility, either dropping off donations or looking to take home a fur-ever friend.

"It's interesting how much you really start to miss those interactions and how impactful one-on-one interactions are with the pets. You really see them start to show more of the personalities and more excitement," says animal services supervisor Erin Ford-Horio.

On average the non-profit sees more than 4,000 visitors per month with a success rate of 1,100 adoptions per year.

So a closure, prompted by the pandemic, meant they'd have to get creative to match pets with their families.

"We had to operate on an appointment-only basis," says Ford-Horio.

Initially fearing the influx of surrenders felt by shelters nationwide, the Animal Services team was surprised when intake went down during the pandemic.

The team utilized their website and social media to post pictures of the adorable adoptables that did make their way to the center.

Ford-Horio says while the situation was less than ideal, they made the best of it.

"It's difficult to convey everything about that pet through a picture or through a written description, and so we really had to work through some of those challenges to be able to really match people with the pet they're really looking for," says Ford-Horio.

Fundraisers also had to move online including their annual fashion show.

"It's been a different way of doing things but it's also given us a greater appreciation for the people that continue to support us," says Ford-Horio.

If you're looking for a new furry friend to add to your family, Miss Winkles' new hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday 11 in the morning till 5 in the evening.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.