It is possible to save every dog and cat in U.S. shelters.
I’m glad some of the larger organizations are now accepting the concept of no kill.
This post is a summary of a blog post by Brent Toellner of the KC Dog Blog about how shelters can get dogs into homes as quickly as possible.
Toellner is the president of the board of directors for the KC Pet Project, a nonprofit that operates the animal shelter of Kansas City, Mo. I wrote about its no-kill philosophy on my blog here.
Toellner’s post is about decreasing the time each animal stays with a shelter or rescue group, which allows that group to save more lives.
For example, if an open-admission shelter knows it will take in an average of 25 animals every single day, then that shelter’s goal should be to average 25 adoptions every single day.
You can read the full post here, but here are some tips according to Toellner:
Tips to decrease a dog or cat’s stay at a shelter
1. Keep your shelter open every day.
That means being open on Saturdays and Sundays, every week day and most holidays. People want to adopt on weekends and holidays because they aren’t at work!
2. Market the hell out of your organization and pets.
Pay to advertise if you can. Otherwise, post the pets on your web site, on all social media feeds and hand out fliers at events like parades in the community. Hang fliers at coffee shops, apartment buildings, etc. (Bramble, above, is up for adoption with the Kansas City Pet Project. More on him here.)
Bloggers: Sometimes we think our posts featuring dogs for adoption don’t matter, but they do matter!
3. Be open with your adoption policies.
If people show up to adopt a pet, let them leave with a pet! Don’t reject people for silly reasons like working too little or too much, planning to have children, not having a fence, not owning a home, etc.
4. Get animals spayed and neutered immediately.
Sometimes shelters wait until a pet is officially adopted before it goes through the expense of spaying/neutering that animal. This means the adopter has to come back in a day or two to get the pet and it means the pet will be taking up space at the shelter during that time.
Ideally, the pets should already be altered prior to adoption and ready to go (when possible). If not, send them home and have the adopter take the animal to the spay/neuter appointment. Remember, most people want to spay/neuter their pets. Have a little trust!
5. Treat foster homes with urgency too.
Foster homes are like kennel space, and the goal should always be to get those pets adopted quickly as well. Getting those pets adopted faster means people will be more likely to keep fostering, and they will be able to help new animals in need.
For more details, check out the KC Dog Blog’s full post here.
KC Pet Project video
Finally, I want to leave you with this inspiring video from KC Pet Project, a group that constantly looks for ways to save more lives. Read more about the KC Pet Project in my post about no kill here. The video is well done, inspiring and about 4 minutes long.
What are your ideas for getting dogs and cats adopted faster?
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