Tell us the one thing (okay, or two or three) that you've done to boost live outcomes at your shelter. It might be something related to increasing returns-to-owners, transfer/transport, adoptions, return-to-field, or....something else! What's given you the biggest bang for your time/effort/bucks???
Bonus points: have a protocol or policy document (or anything else) you can share? Go ahead and attach it to your post!!
Thanks in advance!
1- weekly live release team or at risk meetings
2- daily rounds
3- engage volunteers in finding life outcome options
Turning people who've found neonatal kittens into fosterers! We have such a high conversion rate for a population we would otherwise need to euthanize b/c we don't (yet) have 24 hour care onsite.
We have a couple of homegrown Lost & Found pet pages on Facebook for our area. I regularly post all the strays that have come in each day to these pages at the end of the day. I have noticed that we get a lot of pet parents coming in and saying they saw their pet on these postings or heard about it from a friend or family member that saw their pet on these postings. We also get a lot of adoption interest from these postings.
Promoting "Adopt-to-Rehome" -- encouraging people who want to just help a specific animal, or that don't want to start or be a volunteer for a 501c3 rescue, to adopt pets with the actual goal of rehoming them. Strongly encourage them to use your agency as a resource and to build a relationship so you can help them through any issues along the way. And have them give you the name and contact information of the new owner so you can update your records showing the new owner.
This field has a long history of wanting control and not trusting the good hearted motive of the vast majority of people. That has isolated people very willing to help on a small scale -- but that is an incredible untapped resource. Most people who rehome are as careful as your agency/group in finding the home. We as a profession need to learn to let go and trust people. If the goal is saving lives we need to be open to looking for untapped resources and new ways to place pets (especially those that are hard to find home for).
Some of these people that start as adopt-to-rehome partners may start a full fledged rescue some day or seek employment in the industry. There is a lot of upside, but we have tended over the decades to worry so much for the tiny minority of people who are not coming to us with good intentions.
This is a really interesting idea, and not something I've heard of before! What do you find are the differences between Adopt to Rehome and more traditional fostering? And how do most of these adopters get to know the animal they want to rehome? Are they shelter visitors or folks who knew the pet before they came to the shelter?
With traditional fostering, at least in our organization, we are still on the hook for medical care and other incidents that come up as the pet is still our property. In adopt to rehome the pet is the property of the adopter. Most of our adopt-to-rehome come pick out pets just as if they were planning to keep them for themselves, but instead they begin the process of looking for a new forever home. We ask that they provide us the name of the ultimate owner, their address and phone number for our records. Successful adopt to rehome people often place a handful of individual pets into new homes each year - that adds up quickly when you have a few dozen people all doing the same thing.
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