COLLINGWOOD, ONT. -- For animals in need of a new home, the continuing pandemic is a saving grace.

Sonya Reichel, executive director of the Georgian Triangle Humane Society, says COVID-19 has changed operations dramatically, with many services going virtual. And demand is soaring.

Last year the shelter facilitated the adoption of 900 animals. By Jan. 8, 2021, they had already adopted out 16, and the number of pets being surrendered has not increased.

Shelter staff are happy to see a constant flow of families wanting to make an addition to their home.

"I think because people are at home or they've realigned priorities or working remotely, there is a greater demand for cats and dogs," says Reichel.

There are a series of steps and a virtual "meet and greet to connect animals with the right owner during the pandemic.

"Once the right match is found, we do a curbside pickup adoption," Reichel explains.

Those interested in adopting animals can find applications and available pet listings on the humane society's website.

The humane society is also offering online classes aimed at youth.

"(Our) pet-sitter's course, our responsible pet ownership course, and our junior animal welfare course...feature anything from care of animals to medical care of animals, to what it means to be a responsible pet owner," Reichel says.