Animal Welfare Professionals

Making a case for financial support for Pet Support Services

  • 1.  Making a case for financial support for Pet Support Services

    Posted 09-13-2021 10:05 AM
    Are you trying to provide more resources for owned pets but having difficulty getting the funding needed to pay for the programming? Whether you work at a municipal shelter and are asking for more tax dollars to fund the work, or are donor-funded and need to make a case to donors and granting agencies, the key is to know your data!

    Here at Memphis Animal Services, I calculated our average cost of care per animal by taking total shelter operating costs (minus field expenses, although you could keep that in depending on the case you are making) and dividing that by the average number of pets that came through our doors over the past several years. That brought me to the number $309/ animal. Using that math, I can make the case that any assistance we provide is a cost-savings to taxpayers if it is less than$300 for that animal. So it is a more effective use of tax or donor dollars to, for example, temporarily board a pet for someone at an off-site boarding facility, get it up to date medically, and return the pet to its owner that to do a traditional intake if that costs is less than $300.

    Another great metric to look at is how many pets you are helping with pet support services in addition to traditional impounds. For example, using our Shelterluv Community Services portal (free for SL users and non-SL users), we were able to determine the following:

    2019 Intake Jan-May: 4383
    2021 Intake+ PRC Jan-May: 4686 (3274 + 1412)
    7% increase in pets/ families helped

    Obviously government leaders love to hear about efficiencies, and so do donors and granting agencies. So know your numbers and hopefully the money to fund these programs will follow!

    Alexis Pugh
    Director, Memphis Animal Services

    Organizational Management
    & Pet Support Services Specialist