Sunday, April 20, 2014

Animal Sheltering: 'Denver alliance of shelters, rescues, and veterinarians has live-release rate peaking'

 Quoting from the July/August 2013 Animal Sheltering magazine about the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance (MDSA):

"Founded in June 2000 by Denver-area animal welfare leaders, the now-25-member MDSA is made up of private shelters, municipal animal care and control agencies, rescue groups, veterinary organizations, several foundations, a service dog group, a pet food pantry—even a parrot sanctuary—in an eight-county region. Its common goal is to reduce euthanasia by increasing the number of animals adopted at shelters throughout the region.

The key statistic MDSA uses to track its progress is the collective live-release rate of all its sheltering members. The live-release rate reflects the percentage of animals who leave shelters alive through adoption, return-to-owner, or transfer to a placement partner that can guarantee homes for pets it receives. Since MDSA started keeping live-release statistics in 2005, that number has risen from 72 percent to 85 percent in 2012. [note: 2013 stats for live-release rates have risen to 88%]...

...MDSA members don’t use the term “no kill,” believing it potentially divisive and lacking a universally accepted definition. Instead, members identify themselves as 'open admission' (accepting all animals), or “limited admission” (limiting/selecting the animals accepted). Other agreed-upon terms that members use to track animal statistics are: Healthy, Treatable/Rehabilitatable, Trainable/Manageable, and Unhealthy/Untreatable. Agreeing to use the same terms, and to separate animals into the same kinds of categories, creates a standardized approach to tracking outcomes for pets and allows MDSA to gather reliable statistics from its sheltering members...

...The alliance gets its members out of their individual silos in other ways, too. 'Last year, we formed a little committee, and we started the shelter safaris,' says Suellen Scott, development director of the Cat Care Society in Lakewood. 'We would take turns sending our employees, our volunteers, our staff members to these all-day events where they would visit three shelters in different parts of town.'"

Link to the article

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