One of the main reasons that GreaterGood.org’s Rescue Rebuild program chose Young-Williams Animal Center for a renovation is their take on “managed admissions.” This shelter is an open admission city shelter, which means that they have to take any animal that comes to their door. This can be chaotic. So instead of saying, “bring your animal any time of the day or night and dump it,” the staff at YWAC want to actually sit down and have a conversation with you before you surrender your pet. They are there to help you keep your pet and have a lot of different resources that can help resolve the main problem. This is essentially a formal process of surrender interviews with extensive efforts at providing support and alternatives. Not only does this help reduce the number of surrenders, but it can also help smooth out fluctuations and plan for staffing to match capacity.
During these interviews, staff covers a lot of ground. Whether it’s that the owner cannot afford food, vet care is too pricey, their cat won’t stop peeing in the house, their dog is destructive in the house, or the pet deposits are too high, etc. All of these issues have potential fixes, such as providing information regarding low-cost veterinary packages, pet food pantry’s, behavior training resources, and money loans.
Resources can be provided during the waiting list period to make the wait less stressful on the family—which sometimes results in the pet remaining with the family after all, which is the main goal!
This is a movement in animal welfare and something that Rescue Rebuild stands behind. This is an approach that requires an attitude shift. Most people look down at those wanting to surrender a pet. What we don’t often see or think of is that often surrendering is the only option these pet owners see. Managed admissions is a successful way to keep more animals in homes!