Would league tables work for animal rescue shelters? League tables are a way of ranking the quality of a service provided. Any service can be measured. The concept is that league tables create competition to improve services which raises overall standards.
Cat or animal rescue league tables could be based on one criterion alone: how many adoptable cats have been euthanized? This would be slightly tricky to measure because whether a cat is, or is not, adoptable is frequently a matter for discussion and manipulation but despite that weakness it would seem to be possible.
League tables for cat rescue would improve record keeping and accountability. I know there is a current lack of accountability across the board so the obligation to provide the most basic of figures would be a much needed start.
The rescue organisations who are weak on performance would hate it, initially, but so what? They’d have to improve and if they improved they’d start to enjoy the process.
It would be simple to set up. The obligations and rules could probably be created under an appropriate existing statute as what we call a “statutory instrument”.
There are about 4,000 animal shelters in the USA (the Humane Society says about 3,500). This is not an overwhelming number. It would be manageable to collect data from these shelters and compile the data on a spreadsheet. The data would be collected annually so a couple of people max. could compile the rankings.
If you wanted to make the criterion really simple you could simply record three numbers:
- Cats in
- Cats rehomed
- Cats euthanized
As I recall Los Angeles already provide these figures freely on the internet. Even that would provide some very useful insights into the effectiveness of a cat shelter and it would eliminate potential manipulation regarding reasons for euthanasia.
National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week is about to start: Nov. 3-9. How do we celebrate animal rescue? You don’ want to celebrate a rescue center if it does not deserve being praised.
League tables would give supporters a reason to celebrate their favourite rescue organisation if it was deserved.
From my fairly extensive reading about animal shelters in the USA, there are many excellent ones but I believe it is fair to say that improvements overall could be made. Improvements in euthanasia rates have been made.
What better method to ramp up the rate of improvement than league tables measuring performance based on the most aspect of cat rescue: rehoming rates and euthanasia percentages?