Working in animal shelters may seem like the dream job for animal lovers. The reality is it can be a logistical nightmare. Forecasting and planning become remote to what reality is, and it is the animals too often that suffer due to operational lapses. On this course, Dr. Josh Fisher recounts how the Animal Services Division of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department handled their challenges in terms of animal intake.
Dr. Josh Fisher is the Animal Services Director for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. He is currently on the National Animal Care and Control Association’s and North Carolina Animal Federation’s Board of Directors. With 15-years’ worth of experience with the veterinary medical and animal welfare arena, his background also involves population management, public health, and health care administration, among others. He’s worked in management roles in both the public and private sectors.
Specifics tackled in this session are:
- The challenge with decreasing unnecessary intake as the shelter’s population is more than its actual capacity and the initiatives put into place to manage this.
- Implementing stricter identification protocols through permanent microchips and/or temporary visible IDS on pet tags and collars.
- Espousing a cultural shift from a punitive approach through leash laws to one that supports returning the pets home by reducing the barriers to recovering the animals that end up in shelter by accident.
- Concerted and proactive efforts to get or keep at-risk breeds home through spay/neutering, microchipping, and providing necessary enclosures and safeguards so the pets do not escape.
- Implementing Safety Net Programs through spay/neuter, doghouse, and pet food pantry programs that can help support the owners with the pets’ needs that are lacking which are common reasons for owners to surrender.
- Employing a scheduling system for intake through appointments and limited surrender days.
- How the appointment and scheduling system helped manage intake due to owner surrender by :
- Allowing owners time to deliberate surrendering their pets.
- Providing greater interaction between the staff, owner, and pets thereby improving the odds of finding a forever home for the pet.
- Preparing rescue partners for the surrender by providing the resources the owner needs to retain the pet or skipping the part where the pet gets into the shelter before getting into the rescue.
- Better staffing management that allows forecast of the workload on specific timeslots.
- The importance of having resources available and staff that can educate and engage the owners in a conversation surrounding intake without judgment and the potential outcomes of the pets once taken in.
- Data-driven tips on how to secure program buy-in and community support and other factors to consider to ensure the success of the program.
- Measurable outcomes with reduced surrenders and animals in the facility that proves the effectiveness of managed intake.
Audience questions were about:
- Dealing with owners that deny ownership of a pet.
- The fees associated with owner surrenders.
- Diverting the animals to rescue and foster networks.
- Challenges with launching a managed intake process.
- The equipment procured for the identification piece of the initiative.
- Partnerships that make the program possible.
This is the first of a two-part series.
- Part 1: Getting Started with Managed Intake (this webinar)
- Oct 1: Enhancing Your Managed Intake Process
- “The entire discussion was very informative and thought-provoking. I learned a great deal and will implement the knowledge accordingly.” — Asia
- “Enjoyed learning how the agency deals with so many different issues.” — Dwen
- “Josh did an amazing job. His information was relevant and kept my attention. Looking forward to his next webinar.” — Ebeth
- “The presentation was very comprehensive in all aspects and the speaker was clear, concise, thorough and gave real life scenarios. Excellent!” — Erika