Written by Chris Fitzgerald, Director of Animal Services.
As the fiscal year comes to a close I would like to highlight some of our achievements and plans for the coming year. This year we achieved a Save Rate of over 80% which continues the trend that we have been on for the past few years. Adoptions and transfers to other organizations have remained high while we have actively worked to reduce intakes via returning loose dogs directly to owners and providing information to people struggling with pet care or considering relinquishment of their pets.
In February, we began a spay-neuter initiative supported by a $25,000 grant from Best Friends Animal Society awarded to our partners at Verona Street Animal Society. That grant has enabled us to provide pet owners with low-cost and no-cost spay or neuter surgeries. The project will continue into the new fiscal year until all funds have been exhausted.
Also this year, we received an award of $45,000 from Petco Foundation to enable us to continue offering fee-waived adoption events. Those events have proven effective in boosting shelter traffic and pet adoptions. June 18 was the first of a series of fee-waived events supported by the grant. During that one-day event, seven cats and 10 dogs were adopted and several other animals had adoption waiting lists arising from the event. Additional events will be scheduled throughout the new fiscal year until grant funds run out.
Looking ahead to fiscal year 2016-17, Animal Services will be gaining two part-time Animal Care Technicians, a part-time Veterinary Technician, and a part-time Animal Services Client Specialist. These new positions will help us better accomplish the daily care and customer service responsibilities associated with shelter operations.
Effective July 1, 2016, we will have new hours for our field services operations. Animal Control Officers (ACOs) will be on duty 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. instead of the current hours of 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. This consolidation of shifts will enable us to have more ACOs on duty during the busiest hours while also facilitating our proactive license compliance and community outreach efforts.
The needs assessment study has been approved for funding in the City’s Capital Improvement (CIP) Program. We will be working closely with City Architectural Services to draft a request for proposal (RFP), which will be subsequently published and disseminated for public bid. The timeframe for the study has not yet been finalized however I am excited about commencing the process. This type of needs assessment is essential to any future renovations, expansion, or construction related to improving the Animal Services Center.
This is an exciting time for our organization. We are raising the bar for our own standards, setting even loftier goals in our commitment to helping people with animals and animals with people. Now is a great time to consider getting involved with our cause as a volunteer.
Thanks for all of the community support. Together we are making a difference.