Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Shelter Contracts with Government Entities

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 06-04-2024 09:52 AM
    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous

    Hello! I am looking for examples of Animal Shelter contract language for an agreement of services between the shelter and the city, county, town, etc.  Specifically, how do you limit the number of animals coming into your shelter when you're already at capacity or if you're in a situation where you don't have the resources to keep up with the demand (i.e. short staffed, etc.) Any insight on potentially NOT having a contract with government partners and how you work to still save lives of less fortunate pets with the government entities who would then be responsible for housing & care during the stray hold. We are trying to adopt practices and language in our new annual contracts to protect our private nonprofit organization from being overburdened because currently there is not a limit to the number of animals that can be brought in. We also are trying to educate and encourage our government partners to embrace TNR, which does not exist in our area.  Thank you for sharing your experience & insight!


  • 2.  RE: Shelter Contracts with Government Entities

    Posted 06-07-2024 07:14 AM

    Hello, Most every very shelter we talk to seems to be facing this exact dilemma, and we are no exception.  Although I do not have any answers, I will share our situation.  We are a very small, old, shelter in northern New York.  New York State has just initiated new massive sheltering legislation, leaving many of us scrambling.  We totally embrace the need for these updates, but raising what could as much as 8 million dollars (not to mention the operational cost of such a facility) is intimidating.   As a result, we recently underwent a review of operations.  Although there was a great deal of good from our operations and staff review, our building was a complete failure.  This review process directed us to some immediate actions, to show a good faith response to the new mandates, so as not to face immediate closure in December of 2025, when the law goes into effect.   First and foremost, reduce animal population size immediately.  The only way that could be done was a reduction in  DCO contracts.   In 2023,  64% of dogs that came through our shelter were from DCOs (we too are a private NFP, people do not understand the SPCA attachment to a shelter name).  We currently have 10 DCO contracts with municipalities.  This week I called all of our contracting municipalities, and had the hard conversation with seven that they would be receiving a 90-day cancelation of contract notice (and also sent certified letters to the canceled municipalities).  Between unclaimed, cruelty and abandonment we are drowning, and no one wants to hear it.  If we don't say stop now, we will become the problem and not the solution for animal sheltering in our area.  I liken our situation to Harry Potter's tent, our community views us as small on the outside, with unlimited space and resources inside.  Sadly, we are not.

    Laurie Parsons
    Board President
    Elmore SPCA

  • 3.  RE: Shelter Contracts with Government Entities

    Posted 06-07-2024 03:00 PM

    Hello! It would be a very large transition for any shelter that currently has a municipal contract, but if your organization could handle becoming 100% donation-based, you could make your own rules.  I know that open admission shelters everywhere are at critical capacity; Butte Humane Society (where I work) tries to accept as many animals from them as possible to relieve them from their overpopulation crisis. We get to choose how many animals we feel that we can accommodate. We always leave room for if any of our animals get returned to us. Approximately 60% of our intake consists of animals transferred from our partner shelters while the remaining 40% is from owner surrenders. We do not euthanize animals due to time or space constraints. Our animals remain with us until they find a loving home. It is difficult, but not impossible, to be 100% donation-based. I hope this provided some insight!

    Lauren Carver
    Fundraising and Development Associate
    Butte Humane Society