The Power of Accurate Numbers

Recently, one of the major organizations started asking shelters to include owner request euthanasia’s to be counted in shelter intake numbers. Their argument is that some shelters ask individuals to sign an owner-request form when intaking an animal over 10 years old. Though this is true it hardly happens as much as actual owner-request euthanasia’s. And therefore will skew intake numbers and provide yet another hic-cup in the shelter statistics debate.

Many organizations follow the Asilomar Accords model which also asks you to include owner-request euthanasia’s in intake numbers but then has the organization subtract them from the total. Technically owner-request euthanasia’s are an ‘outpatient’ procedure. The animals are not being surrendered to the organization, the animals owners are hiring the organization to perform a service….just like a shelters cremation service and it’s spay/neuter services.
As we all know (and lament) there is not one depository for shelter statistics. Though all the national organizations and any grant funder requires and has statistics from shelters across the nation…these are not being shared, centralized or analyzed to help the industry as a whole.

Colorado is one of the only states that mandates that any facility that boards animals reports their numbers to a centralized agency. Because of this I can tell you that in Colorado 170,000 animals entered the animal welfare system in 2016; that’s 33 animals per 1,000 people.

I can also tell you that we euthanized 10% of dogs and 24% of cats that entered the system and therefore throughout the state of Colorado we have a LRR of 83%. I can show you that we’re RTO’ing 24% of dogs and 6% of cats, adopting 50% of each and boarding 10,000 dogs every day.

Of the 103,298 dogs and 66,826 cats that entered Colorado’s Animal Welfare system in 2016:
You see numbers are useful. They give us the ability to see where we are and how much farther we have to go. They also provide us with tools to educate the public on the status of overpopulation and the need for basic animal welfare within communities.

So why is it that shelters are asked to count owner-request euthanasia’s as intakes but not animals dropped off for spay/neuter surgery? Technically they’re apples to apples – two procedures the organization offers to the public….neither of which is giving the shelter ownership of the animal and therefore neither of which should be counted in intake numbers (even if they’re subtracted out at the end).

As Animal Sheltering continues to grow into a well-run, professional industry more and more eyes will be on the profession. Therefore it is up to all of us to show with accuracy exactly what we’re dealing with and not try to overinflate the problem.

The facts about Exotic Moths

It is a natural right to see, a butterfly playing along with fields of blossoms and weeds, but explores nearer … that delightful creature might not be a butterfly whatsoever! Most people are unaware that there tend to be certain moths which are just as (or actually more) brilliant compared to butterflies. Both the mouth and also the butterfly is the main Lepidoptera insect family and several times when you think you are considering a butterfly. It really is a moth. With regard to the demonstration, the Madagascan Setting Sun Moth (Chrysiridia Rhipheus) is among the most astonishing as well as elegant members from the Lepidoptera family. This moth is in fact native to Madagascar and it is heavily sought following by collectors. While these moths tend to be chiefly black, these people boast iridescent eco-friendly, red, blue, copper mineral and yellow white markings. Except, in comparison with other moths, the colors from the sunset moth aren’t pigments but otherwise caused by optical interference. Many people error them for butterflies for the reason that they fly throughout the day unlike most moths who’re night fliers. Another moth indigenous to Madagascar may be the Comet Moth (Argema metres). This particular myth is obviously amazing; its wings vary from creamy yellow-green to some more neon look of green having an intense red butt.

It is simple to tell the distinction between a man and female Comet Moth; the male includes an abundantly longer story, which can be as long as half a foot long. Unfortunately, by cause of habitat decrease; the Comet Moth has become the decreasing in numbers species list. The Cinnabar Moth (Tyria Jacobaeae) can also be a day flier and it is broadly mistaken for any butterfly. It is indigenous to Europe and Asia and it has brilliantly colored red-colored back wings having a black borderline. Its forewings are grey and also have a red streak at the front and 2 red spots about the outer edges. The Cinnabar Moth has been put in place to The united states to better relieve the outburst associated with Ragwort. The Luna Moth (Actias Luna) is no longer a day flier like enough exotic moths but continues to be broadly mistaken for any butterfly. This month offers pale pastel eco-friendly wings with blatant eye spots in it. It is arguably probably the most elegant moths in the United States. Its popularity had been highlighted in 1987 whenever it appeared on the original class Usa postage stamp. While the majority of people know there are lots of elegant species of butterflies around the world, not as most are conscious of the truly amazing beauty of the actual mouth. There are numerous species of moths which are just as amazing and beautiful because of their relative: the actual butterfly. So next time look at the butterfly fluttering through, take a 2nd look, it might just be a moth.

Open Admission

One of the most confusing and damaging trends in the animal sheltering industry currently is the overwhelming number of limited-admission animal shelters in existence. Organizations that don’t take in animals, or that take in animals only on their terms and timelines are shutting themselves off from their community. Just like a country-club that restricts entry, protocols such as these set an organization off as a ’boutique rescue’ able to help the lucky few that get through their doors and let the others fend for themselves.

This model has its roots in areas of the country that have reached balanced companion animal populations and are now able to pick and choose the animals that come through their doors. The problem lies in the stray and owner surrendered animals that now have nowhere to go. By turning away individuals with these animals in need an organization is saying ‘we’re not here for your animals.’ And if they’re now…who is?

Municipal shelters, those currently struggling the greatest were formed because stray and homeless animals had nowhere to go. Running a limited-admission shelter in an area of the country that has not reached balanced companion animal populations is turning a blind eye to those animals in need, taking crucial resources from the municipal shelter (forced to handle everything that the limited admission shelter doesn’t) and putting an unnecessary burden on the staff. If you have successful adoption, foster, and volunteer programs there should be no need to limit admission to the few.

Off-site Adoptions

Off-site adoptions provide an opportunity for people to see animals available for adoption without having to come into an animal shelter. These off-site locations can be in retail establishments (veterinary offices, pet stores, etc) or can be a stand-alone retail establishment (‘pet stores’ in malls run entirely by and for the animal shelter).

Off-site Adoption Locations are a necessary part of progressive sheltering for a number of reasons: some people won’t come into an animal shelter ever, others won’t come in at the time that the perfect animal is there, still others just don’t get over there or assume it is ‘the pound’ they grew up near. Whatever the reason all these individuals will get animals from other sources. Having animals in locations where more of the community can see them, provides the animals with a higher chance of being adopted and of course that’s the goal. To move the animals into lifelong homes as quickly as possible.

Off-site adoptions also allow an organization to spread their messaging, brand themselves and establish relationships with the local retail community…all which benefit the animals and the organization.

Marketing and Public Relations

An animal shelter deals with more companion animals than any other organization or business. They shelter and care for over 100 animals at a time (on average) and do so while keeping the animals healthy and mentally and physically stimulated. Animal shelters field more animal-related question in a week than a typical veterinary office does in a month. They have worked through and succeeded at keeping diseases, viruses, and parasites at bay – even through
some of the most challenging situations and with extremely limited resources.

The staff of an animal shelter is faced with a multitude of challenges, often occurring at the same time, but again and again they find a way to put the animals first, solve the problem, and fund the solution. It’s really quite amazing, especially when you consider the limited training available, the fact that every organization is on its own, and that we’re only just getting population numbers to a manageable level.

What is an animal shelter, but a safe-haven for animals? A temporary respite until they can be reunited with their families or find new ones. It costs a significant amount of money to run, and like so many social programs, those most helped by it are the least able to afford it (or pay it back). An animal shelter doesn’t just care for animals, provide guidance, and set the standard; they also take on the responsibility of raising the money needed just to continue what they’re doing. An animal shelter is a sign of a progressive and enlightened community.
A community animal shelter is something to be proud of. And one of our biggest challenges right now is to change the public’s perception of local animal shelters. A media campaign is one of the tools to achieve that.
A media campaign, including events, PSA’s, advertisements, Press Releases, etc is a way to plan out an animal shelters messaging. It provides a framework to address issues, educate the community and increase a shelters value in a community.

Recommendations for Marketing and Public Relations

Calendar – A quick way to evaluate an animal shelter is to see if they’re working proactively or reactively. A progressive animal shelter creates a calendar at the beginning of each year to identify those subjects they want to focus on. It is a terrific way to ensure cross-messaging and have the biggest impact in the community.

PSA’s – Public Service Announcements, available to any organization or group with a 501c3 status are aired on every radio and television station. These free short clips provide groups with the opportunity to get their message out at no cost. Be sure to take the time to utilize this free service all year long.

Press Releases – Press releases are a crucial part in any media campaign. These structured one-page documents are the accepted form of news announcements to the media. They can be sent with announcements of upcoming programs, warm or cold weather tips, or anytime you’re looking to generate press or a story in the media.
Messaging – Messaging is the most important part of a media campaign. Instead of where you’re saying it, like above, it reflects what you’re saying. If a shelter is the go-to resource in the community, then they must set themselves up that way. General pet care tips, spay & neuter messaging and lost and found steps should be part of any active campaign and circulating on an ongoing basis.

Low-Cost Services

Low-Cost Veterinary Services are necessary in every community. Pet ownership cannot be just for the wealthy. Everyone deserves the joy and benefits of having a pet and everyone deserves to provide for that animal. We cannot demand responsible pet ownership then price it so high that it is out of touch with the realities of our communities. If local veterinarians are not providing low-cost services then it is an animal shelters responsibility to do so.

The recent recession our country faced made some veterinary offices – especially those corporately owned – increase their prices, significantly. A routine cat neuter, which takes on average, less than 15 minutes, is as much as $400 in some parts of the country. But the joy of a capitalist society is that those that charge a lot and those that charge a little can survive side-by-side because they attract completely different clientele. The individuals who don’t question $400 for a quick and routine procedure will never bring their animals to a shelter for surgery. And those that would choose to utilize the services that a shelters’ low-cost medical department can provide will not return to the overpriced corporate veterinary offices.

Many retail veterinarians find fault in a shelter providing low-cost services because they consider them competition with the added benefit that some are non-profit. This notion fails to value the relationship a veterinarian has with their clients as well as the breadth of services they provide. For years animal shelters have been the best champions for veterinarians. That hasn’t changed today. Animal shelters still promote veterinary medicine and care. They are not trying to replace the relationship a vet has with their client or even fulfill a large portion of those services.

When animal shelters provide medical procedures they provide the basics needed for themselves and the animals of a community. To alleviate accidental litters and unchecked breeding, shelters must offer low-cost spay/neuter services. We are too close to reaching balanced companion animal populations to backslide now – this necessary and crucial surgery must be available and it must be affordable. To avoid distemper or other outbreaks in a kennel, vaccinations must be available and affordable to the general public – not just to those that value veterinary care….but to everyone.

Responsibility to Community

A community must also have low-cost services that work to keep animals with their families. If an individual comes to an animal shelters asking to surrender a dog because it has a face full of porcupine quills and their veterinarian told them it would be $900 (a mortgage payment!) to remove them – a shelter can easily provide this service for a minimal fee or donation request. After all, a shelters priority is to keep an animal with their family.

If we remove the for-profit and not-for-profit issues between veterinarians and animal shelters, we would find many more similarities than differences. After all, both the people that work in animal shelters and the people that work in veterinary clinics are all working in and for animals.

Thousands of veterinarians work daily in and with animal shelters across the country. Others perform hundreds and thousands of spay/neuter surgeries for little or no money. The veterinary profession, just like any other body of people, has those that support the sheltering system and those that don’t. Some are altruistic and some driven by their ego’s or the bottom line. Supporting veterinarians do exist. And shelters need to align with them to implement low-cost services for their communities.

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Gun barrel Racing Horses

Whether you’re a beginner or perhaps a seasoned barrel racing, your success within competition will greatly rely on your choice associated with Barrel Horse. Barrel Racing Farm pets are almost as diverse since the human race itself which is imperative that you think about many factors for making a final decision on the Barrel Racing group mate. The first consideration is the subject level associated with competition. Is it you need to go out upon Saturday afternoon and competition within the local play day time? If your primary ambition is performing days then the selection of an ideal horse will certainly be different from should you compete weekly inside a major organization for example NBHA. If you’re just buying play day equine, an older, seasoned horse might be the better wager. More old horses tend to be much calmer and are often purchased at a substantial discount from their own younger brothers. In the event that, on the additional hand, you are seeking to place in the actual 1D bracket on the weekly basis then, you have to be prepared to pay significantly more for a nicely trained, proven Gun barrel horse. If you’re a beginning to gun barrel rider, and you are feeling you have the actual patience and expertise, it may be best that you should purchase an inexperienced horse and do work out yourself. Barrel racing is really a team sport.

The team includes one horse and something rider. What better way to become a great team than to understand the game in the ground up. It’s not difficult to teach a barrel equine. There are lots of information out there that will help you be successful. But it will require time and persistence. If you are attempting to compete immediately with a trained horse is unquestionably your best choice. When purchasing the barrel racing horse to coach, you will ofttimes be purchasing an equine that didn’t quite exercise at some additional job. A reigning equine, cow horse, or race horse that for reasons unknown didn’t live as much as their trainers in anticipation. That doesn’t mean they will not be a superb Barrel Racing Equine. The horse might not have been able to perfectly suited to the job these were being trained to complete…. or possibly the actual trainer did an undesirable job and fell short within the training department. The horse may still cause you to a great Gun barrel racing team partner. Purchasing a competent horse doesn’t mean you can hop on, enter a gun barrel horse race and be prepared to place first within 1D, even if you’ve spent a lot of money on the 1D horse. As mentioned previously, barrel racing farm pets and riders really are a team and need to know one another and work collectively. It will take time for your new horse to understand your mannerisms, using style, and indicators. Once done, you’ll work together like a well oiled device and rake within those price inspections and buckles, 7 days in and 7 days out. The most widely used barrel horse breed may be the Quarter Horse. The quarter horse is then the Arabian. Although they are usually mild barrel farm pets, Arabians tend to become hard headed and difficult to handle. When selecting your Barrel Racing Equine, be sure that he’s trailer broke as well as loads and unloads without a lot of fuss. Although some horses which have trailer issues could be “fixed”, many happen to be traumatized by bad trailer experiences which might even include damage while being trailers. Often times these types of earlier experiences can’t be overcome and will also be purchasing an irritating problem which you will have to deal with each time you load as much as and from the race. This can completely ruin the knowledge of the game for you personally. I speak from experience on this subject.

Once you’ve determined what your requirements in a gun barrel horse are, you have to consider the important options that come with a good Gun barrel Racing Horse Center: Your horse should have heart…. Want in order to. You should need to hold him in the alley before you are ready simply because he knows his job and it is eager to make sure you. Athletic: Your Barrel Racing Horse must carry himself evenly with no less than wasted motion. He or she should keep their hocks, knees, and hoofs as near to the ground as feasible. Age: More old horses is usually calmer and better suitable for the inexperienced driver. Many barrel farm pets compete effectively well to their 20’s. Breeding: Must be horse comes through champion blood doesn’t automatically force him or her a champion. Make sure to be considering the actual horse you see before you and not only the horse the thing is in the documents. The horse before you is the truth.

Foster Home Program

A Foster Home Program is an absolute necessity in any animal shelter. The program provides temporary housing for the animals, away from the organization. It is critical for animals younger than 8 weeks old, sick or recovering animals, or as an overflow when the shelter is full.

Foster homes are provided by local citizens, businesses and even Senior Centers and schools. The program provides the public with an opportunity to contribute in a way that suits them, while the shelter is able to free up valuable cage and kennel space.

As more and more shelters reach balanced populations, foster homes will be more important than ever in providing crucial overflow room for animals. As a shelter progresses from overwhelm to more manageable numbers, the first policy to change is to stop euthanasia for space.

This policy shift is crucial and often difficult for the staff to maintain the first two years. Though the numbers have lessened there will still be times of more animals than space. When this happens, foster homes have to be employed (generous boarding kennels and veterinarians can also work) to provide temporary housing until room at the shelter opens up.

Recommendations for a Successful Foster Home Program

Strong Coordinator – with good communication/customer service skills, empathy, medical and neonatal knowledge (or the desire and ability to learn it), basic organizational skills and management, and the ability to sell the program

Recordkeeping – a database needs to be maintained with all active foster families; records and paperwork (waiver, release, contact) is up-to-date

Informed Foster Families – Foster families need to be provided with specific information regarding animal health, support and general FAQ. This information needs to be provided in handout form so it is accessible when needed.

Time Management – Foster coordination is at its peak May through September. Off peak months need to be used to work with other shelters and coordinators, recruit additional families, create marketing materials and update program materials.

Insurance – Insurance to protect the organization is mandatory. An animal outside of the building is in much more jeopardy than those inside. Insurance must be in place to protect the organization and waiver’s must be in place for foster families.

Clear Program Guidelines – animals in foster are still the responsibility of the animal shelter; they cannot be adopted out or given away. Clear program guidelines provide the framework for a program which protects the pets, the shelter and the foster family.

Solid Program & Coordination – Weak or mismanaged programs are an open door for volunteers to assert themselves, second guess policy’s and fail to continue. Take the time to form a solid program and continue investing the time it takes to succeed.

Comprehensive Medical Program

Medical care is part of basic care for every animal. A comprehensive medical program at an animal shelter includes intake exams, vaccinations, identification and treatment of any medical conditions, necessary follow-up care, testing and treatment for viruses and diseases and altering surgery.

One area in an animal shelter which currently receives a great deal of scrutiny are the words; treatable and curable. What one shelter calls treatable another cannot, for example; Parvo, a contagious and deadly virus seen most often in unvaccinated or under-vaccinated puppies, shows up in the shelter environment often. Though it is not difficult to clean up after Parvo (bleach works the best) a particular formula must be followed for it to be eradicated entirely.

The treatment for Parvo can be costly (in some cases very costly) and depending on how quickly it was caught, the chance of the puppy living can be very low. For some shelters this alone would make treatment impossible, but combine this high risk with need for the animal to be in complete isolation (a luxury many shelters don’t have) and the need for constant fluids and monitoring, and it’s easier to see why ‘treatable’ isn’t as black and white as it would initially appear.

Every shelter must evaluate what they are able to treat. And each must continually evaluate their medical program and their abilities to provide better care then they expect their adopters to provide.

Recommendations for a Comprehensive Medical Program

Intake Exams – Intake exams, preformed either before the animal goes into the kennel or when they become the property of the shelter, include sexing the animal, vaccinating, performing a health exam, evaluating ears, teeth, and coat condition, provide crucial information on the animal

Vaccinations – Vaccinations are necessary for the health of both the stray/lost animal as well as the population already in residence. Vaccinations (including Bordatella) are a must to run a healthy animal shelter.

Medical Conditions – Any medical conditions must be addressed. Animal shelters provide the benchmark in animal care and must have a veterinarian on-call to provide crucial care to animals.

Follow-up care – it is not enough to treat the illness, continuing care must be provided and must continue until the animals health is restored (even if he or she has been adopted)

Viruses, Diseases, & Parasites – Managing an animal shelter is unique and requires the upmost attention to the prevention of viruses and diseases which can impact the entire population. Areas with high probabilities of particular viruses, diseases or parasites must test and treat for those viruses.
Spaying/Neutering – Spaying and neutering animals is a crucial part of the formula to achieve balanced populations. If we are to succeed, it is up to us all to ensure every animal is altered and this must be done before they leave the shelter.