Smoother adoptions with Adobe Acrobat Sign mean cats find their forever homes sooner
The job of creating e-signature capabilities for the Hands-Free Homing process fell to Helen Waterman, IT Project and Documentation Officer at Cats Protection. She has extensive experience with technology implementation and, perhaps just as important, three cats. That gives her insight into the emotional weight of the adoption process and the importance of keeping paperwork simple.
“When people decide to adopt, they want to bring their new family member home as soon as possible,” Waterman says. “We chose Adobe Acrobat Sign to enable e-signatures and make it possible to do all the paperwork online instead of sending it back and forth through the post — so cats can get into their forever homes faster.”
Waterman kept in touch to long-time technology partner Phoenix Software for help rolling out Acrobat Sign, starting with a small pilot group of adoption centres in April 2020. Just five months later, all 37 centres were using Acrobat Sign for adoption documents, which include the bill of adoption, terms of business, the cat’s medical summary and pet insurance form. That enables staff, volunteers and pet owners to minimise the amount of contact they have with each other — meeting only briefly to transfer the cat to its new family.
Each adoption centre has its own shared group within Acrobat Sign, which allows staff and volunteers to keep adoptions flowing smoothly even as individuals cycle in and out of their shifts. That means documents that would have taken two weeks to finalise are now completed in an average of 2.5 hours. Not only is that good for the cats and their new families, it also gives Cats Protection more space to accept emergency cases, including animals whose owners passed away unexpectedly.
By October, Cats Protection had found homes for more than 9,000 cats, with over 5,000 of those adoptions managed through the Hands-Free Homing process. And the organisation had kept the quality of its matches high, making sure the new owners were a good fit for the cats.
“The well-being of cats is our number one priority and we want to make sure they go to the right homes,” says Waterman. “With Hands-Free Homing, we’ve been able to help people choose cats that are a better fit for their lifestyles and expectations — rather than relying on the emotional reaction people have when they walk into a room of 40 fluffy kittens. That has helped keep return rates down.”