You Can Have A Shelter Animal Join Your Zoom Call

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to come up with creative ways of still conducting business while maintaining a social distance from people. This led to a huge surge in Zoom popularity as the video chat platform gave us the freedom to stay connected from the comfort and safety of our homes. However, this isn’t the same as getting together face-to-face. After months of being on Zoom, a lot of people are feeling the burnout.

But a Richmond, Virginia animal shelter has a solution. If your video calls are a little boring as of late, the shelter is offering their adoptable cats and dogs to join your Zoom calls in order to make things a bit more fun. This availability is through their RACC Chat program.

The Dodo reports that whoever would like this is free to get in touch with the Richmond Animal Care and Control and request either a cat or dog to join the chat. People can even make special requests, including specific personality traits like a relaxed cat or a hyper puppy.

For those requesting an animal to join corporate calls, the shelter has some cute DIY backgrounds that give the office feel for the chats. In fact, there was a recent RACC Chat with a student robotics team who were joined by Buster, a shelter dog. The entire team had a blast, posting to Facebook that “She’s beautiful and was very content the entire hour of our call!” Sounds like some pretty happy Zoom callers.

The director of the Richmond Animal Care and Control, Christie Chipps Peters, shared with The Dodo that the idea behind the chat was just to bring some happiness to people. She explained that those who work in the shelter get to experience the “love and comfort” that animals provide, therefore they wanted to spread that around.

Besides giving people an opportunity to smile, the shelter is hoping that their new RACC Chat program will drum up interest in adoption or fostering of their pets. The shelter’s Facebook is overwhelmed by pictures of all their current available pets who are looking for a forever home.

If you’re interested in booking a furry friend for your next Zoom call then definitely send an email to katie.gantt@richmondgov.com.

Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.

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