The first half of 2012 has seen great strides at the Allegan Shelter. Most significantly we have increased the re-home rate of dogs to 99% and of cats to 71%. We have not been forced to euthanize for space in many many months. And I believe we are the only shelter on the western side of Michigan that can make that claim !
That achievement was attained through many new changes. We have increased staffing, provided better access for the public, implemented better data reporting, installed new caging, and believe it or not, we have created a new surgical room ! Here’s a quick synopsis
In March we hired Julie Kowal as our new Office Administrator. Julie is the shelter’s face to the public, she is the first person to greet you when you walk through our doors. She plans shelter events, handles daily inquiries about pets, assists the public surrendering or reclaiming their pets, and works with Karen Kazyak our Adoption Coordinator, to streamline the adoption process and move pets through our shelter quickly.
More Public Access
Increased rates of adoption and returns require better public access to the shelter. So in April we established new evening and weekend hours for the shelter. For the first time in a decade, the Allegan Shelter is now open noon to 4pm on Saturday, and 2pm-7pm on Thursdays.
Better Data Management
We’ve partnered with 24Hour Pet Watch and PetPoint to implement new software that manages pets passing through the shelter. For years the shelter relied on a simple single intake sheet and old database to do little more than count animals entering the shelter and record their outcome. No public or medical data was recorded. But our new PetPoint system will allow us to track the complete history of a pet, from the owners who surrender them to their medical history and temperament testing results. It’s a comprehensive system that will help us grow adoption rates and provide detailed reporting.
Generous public donations in 2011 has enable us to purchase new kennel caging for our intake room and main dog kennel, expanding capacity from 30 to 42 dogs. Most importantly it has expanded our quarantine space for incoming dogs which has greatly improved control of the spread of disease. We also are installing new cat condos to replace the old 2ftx2ft stainless steel cages in the main cat room. The new condos will provide 78” of vertical space and 25 sqft of surface area to house up to 3-4 cats each, increasing both the emotional and physical well being of our cat population.
New Surgical Room and Services
Through generous equipment donations from the Humane Society of Huron Valley and a $10,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture for spay-neuter programs, we have built a new surgical room at the shelter and have have contracted with Dr. Lisa Applegate from Lawton MI to provide spay-neuter services each Monday beginning June 4. We are very excited about this program. For the first time in the history of the Allegan Animal Shelter cats and dogs will be spayed or neutered prior to adoption. It will provide a tremendous value to the public while insuring cats and dogs re-entering the community are altered and cannot continue contributing to our county’s over population problem.
These are amazing strides attained in just the first five months of 2012 and there are more to come. If you’ve not visited the Allegan Animal Shelter recently, come out soon and see the face of our new facility.