Super excited to see this forum up and running. I know a lot of us have been dreaming about something like this for a long time.
Quick question: I've been asking all of my shelter colleagues about this: Safety Net programs! What are your top three favorite intake diversion programs that you've implemented in your shelter? Bonus question -- which one gave you the most "bang for your buck?"
Looking forward to seeing what everyone's doing to keep pets out of their shelters.
In Charleston, the Animal Resource Center is instrumental in keeping families together and pets out of shelters. It takes the approach of "How can I help you keep your pet?" vs the standard intake department. The online resource center has lots of information with regards to medical issues, behavioral, housing, insurance, what to do if you find an animal, end of life, rehoming, etc, etc. If someone calls or emails, it goes to a caseworker. If someone comes into the "intake department", caseworkers have discussions with them to get to the root of the concerns and try to find solutions.
As a fundraiser, it's a program that investors really get on board with. I was easily able to secure grant funding (and other team members secure donors) to support the Animal Resource Center, especially for medical cases. While medical cases are costly, most donors/investors can resonate with the concept that when our pets are sick or injured, most folks don't have a stockpile of money sitting around to be able to handle it immediately and it can cause extreme stress for all involved. We saw many teary eyed pet owners come in to relinquish their pet because they truly felt it was the best option for the animal in getting the medical attention they needed (though they couldn't afford it, they felt the shelter would be able to treat them, even if that meant giving them up so that their pet didn't suffer). As opposed to taking these animals in, treating them, and then putting them up for adoption, why not nurture the relationship and keep them in the loving home they already have?
Also as a fundraiser, this can appeal to even "non" animal welfare interested prospects. You're supporting the community, keeping families together, and eliminating the difficult decision of whether or not they can afford to put food on the table or keep/treat their pet.
There are lots of other areas of financial support needed for this concept. Some include: Behavioral training (discounts or free, classes or one-on-one in the home); Initial costs for pet deposits when moving to pet-friendly housing; Temporary boarding for human medical or military needs, etc.; Fencing repairs to keep pets from escaping; Providing food or other supplies during tough times; etc.
Jamie -- Thanks so much for your thoughtful and informative reply. I had a chance to checkout the Animal Resource Center. This is impressive!
For anyone else who'd like to check it out, here's a link.
And thank you for sharing the information about how this tool is helpful when it comes to fundraising. That's great to consider.
6150 Stoneridge Mall Road, Suite 125Pleasanton, CA 94588
Phone: (925) 310-5450Email: email@example.com
Take a look at the Maddie's ShopAll kinds of goodies for you and your pet.