This is another good example of intelligent, enlightened thinking by shelter management to dramatically improve cat adoption rates. The new program is called “Revision” and entails a three-pronged approach…
The outcome? No cats at the Capital Area Humane Society have been euthanised since October 2014.
“The transformation is remarkable,” Executive Director Rachel Finney said.
For the period Sept 1st to April 30th, the kill rate is at 36% of the previous kill rate over the same period last year (down almost two-thirds).
Placement rates have dramatically climbed to 71% in April 2015.
People who bring healthy cats (domestic or strays) to the shelter more often go away with the cat they brought in, having adopted him/her.
The Society achieves this by introducing the following:
- For stray cats brought in for a health check, once the ‘customer’ finds out the cat is healthy they can adopt him/her confident in the knowledge that they don’t have a surprise, large veterinary bill in the near future.
- All cats brought to the shelter are (a) checked by a veterinary team (b) low cost vaccinations and spaying and neutering are offered (c) free supplies are offered (d) anything feasible is offered such as carpet stain removers and odour-neutralising sprays if it will convince the person to adopt the cat.
- A dramatic cut in adoption fees from $45 to $10 for adult cats and from $70 to $25 for kittens.
This program has resulted in 355 cats destined to be relinquished at the shelter going home with the person who wanted to give him/her up. I find that very impressive.
The Society also uses a members only Facebook page via RescueNet to rehome cats who stay at the shelter.
All this has cost money: about $200k per annum. It seems that money well spent is the route to maximising adoption rates. Does that mean shelters have to raise more or go cap in hand to local government for grants?
Petsmart Charities have contributed and their grant helps to pay for spaying and neutering 7 days a week as opposed to 4 days previously. Feral cats trapped as part of a TNR program are spayed/neutered at no cost.
The Society is keen to reduce the number of feral cats in the area estimated to be at 400k.
Nathan Winograd, the guy who proposed genuine no-kill throughout the US would be proud of them and very happy.
- Source: Cats saved under new program at Capital Area Humane Society
- Location of shelter: 3015 Scioto-Darby Executive Court near Hilliard, Columbus