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« Rhode Island becomes the 16th state to prohibit breed-specific legislation | Main | More misinformation, deceit and attempts to mislead from Merritt Clifton »

July 23, 2013



Well, interesting video and makes a good point which I think is well understood (hopefully) by many in sheltering. The delima is how to make the "shorter stay' happen? Even Austin after spending a of money over the last four years and trying to be "state of the art" as it relates to adoptions, inovative advertising etc. still finds its self in a position of having to give away animals and limit admissions by not taking owner turn ins. They post on their web page "if you own and aniaml do not bring it here. Sounds like limited admission to me. Additionally the shelter Director Ms. Smith states in her budget video (on line also) that she does not know how much it is going to cost to stay no kill but they are not there yet. I am not knocking Austin as they are certainly trying to do a good job as are many other shelters. Just pointing out that I am not sure we have figured it all out yet. I still believe spay and neuter is going to have to play a bigger part. As always thanks for your page!


One additional comment on Austin. They are held out as a "model" for others to follow yet their model has proven to be very expensive and is in all likely hood well beyond the capability of many municipalities. One again I am not knocking Austin at all as they have done some great things and we can learn much from them. Just think we may need to tweak the model if it is gong to be applicable to a wide range of situations.


No doubt spay/neuter is important. Lowering the speed of which animals come in obviously extends the amount of time animals can stay at the shelter - which always helps.

At the end of the day, the only way to success is that they have to go out at the same pace they come in or at some point you're in trouble. Anything you can do to improve either end of the spectrum will help.

Austin is a model -- but it's honestly a model on a scale unlike any of the other models. The larger scale creates a lot of challenges we haven't even begun to have a larger dialogue about.


Yes, I agree Brent. Need to work both ends of the spectrum and with a realization it takes some time on the spay and neuter end, time to educate the public and change "throw away perceptions" and time but less so to implement increased adoptions. Also, rescues and sheters working together is a biggie! None of those hopefully ever being an excuse for not trying to get there as quickly as possible. And you are absolutly correct it is pretty simple math. If intakes are more than outakes then the shelter fills up and assuming you do not have an infinite amount of resources to build and house more then you are in trouble. Thats why even a brand spanking new shelter of any size is in trouble if those two numbers do not balance.

Unfortunately, I see some groups hard locked into one method or another and I think that is counter productive since it will take all methods combined I think. Even more counter productive is when one side wants to criticize the other when there is plenty of room for both if we stay focused on the animals!

The bright side is I believe there is an increasing awareness of this issue and many others you cover here that helps cause that change. Either that or I am hanging out with the wrong group of folks and their are only maybe 10 of us,lol. That is a joke I hope! Thanks again for the site. You put a ton of work into it I can tell.


PS Brent: I think the cartoon was really good in that it focused on inventory in the shelter if you will (and I don't mean to imply that living things should be treated like inventory). It is a bit amazing how many people I talk to that seem to not understand what is a very simple concept simply because they don't think it all the way through.


Re: Increasing return to owner rate - can TNR groups do more to help with this? If someone needs help trapping their escaped cat, could these groups help? They might need extra money to do so as a service to the city.

If a stray animal is picked up, does the city send out leaflets to surrounding homes, including the one where the animal was picked up? (I believe Calgary does that. Was something in their PetSmart Charities webinar if I remember.)

Do you have one centralized lost/found site? Kat Albrecht, expert pet detective and founder of Missing Pet Partnership listed that as helping to overcome some barriers to increasing the RTO, especially proactively to keep them out of shelters in the first place. (Her site and blog has awesome info on pet recovery for pet owners and those trying to assist them). The Helping Lost Pets (HeLP) website is a great, free, centralized lost/found listing site that more cities, shelters & pet owners are using.

We can all sign up to receive text/email notifications about pets and share their ads. Ads are shareable and printable. Includes smartphone app. Shelters and rescues can also link to their adoptable pet listings.

What about a rewards based ID program? Is it possible to increase the number of pets registered for ID without punitive fines? People can register pets for free on HeLP. If they go missing, people just have to change their status from "safe" to "lost" and they will appear on the map & generate ads and alerts.

What are the barriers to getting more pets registered for ID? Should the program be free if the goal is to get more lost pets back home? Should there be a fee and a rewards program attached, like in Calgary and Regina and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan? They all saw pet limit laws as barriers to getting more pets registered so they got rid of that law. Should there be both free and a paid ID program with rewards so people can choose? What about the 'first ride home is free' for stray pets registered?

I like the idea of a full-time company operating the lost/found pet website instead of shelter employees. Pets get posted online quickly, even after hours. Good deal for pet owners, shelters, and taxpayers.

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