2017 SPCHS Shelter Annual Report
SPCHS is thankful for the support we receive from our community. This community along with our great staff and volunteers have been essential to our success for over 20 years. SPCHS’s success can be attributed not only to our fantastic shelter manager, staff, and volunteers; but, also our working Board and Advisory Council members. We are thankful to have such a great team and community support.
Shelter Animal Count: In 2017, our shelter took in 556 cats and dogs, finding forever homes for 414 and returning 67 to their owners. Details of our 2017 intake and outcome are published and available. As a no-kill shelter, SPCHS had a 98.4% live release rate in 2017 calculated by dividing live outcomes by total outcomes. Discovery Coast Real Estate sponsored numerous cat adoptions allowing us to find homes for many of our cats. We continued expanding exposure of cats with adoption events at Petco in Warrenton. As always, our cats and dogs receive their vaccinations and are altered before adoption. In 2017, we added the rabies vaccinations and micro-chipping for dogs. We have started the rabies vaccinations for cats and will include microchipping for them, in 2018.
Community Cat Advocate: With the addition of the Community Cat Advocate position to our Advisory Council, 55 community cats were altered in 2017 vs. 13 in 2016. Our Advocate has educated and at times assisted members of the community with the trap, neuter/spay, return (TNR) process. In 2018, our Advocate will continue with her education and assistance including training sessions to be held at the shelter annex.
Cat and Dog Enrichment: Providing the cats and dogs in our facility the best experience possible until a forever home is found for them is our number one priority. With a bequest for our cats, we continued replacing the cat condos and trees in our colony rooms with a cat habitat that provides a cleaner and more sanitary environment and supports the play and enrichment cats need. Many of our dogs attend dog training classes increasing their adoption prospects. Our dog walkers provide daily and sometimes multiple walks and spend quality time with each dog teaching them basic commands and tricks. Thanks to one of our staff with a large fenced property, our high-energy dogs are provided with an opportunity to freely run and play.
Infrastructure Upgrades: With a grant from the Loren H. Corder Foundation, we improved the safety and security for our dogs. We had several instances of dogs jumping over the fence jeopardizing the safety not only for that dog but the other dogs at the shelter, the staff, volunteers and visitors. Outside kennel fencing was replaced where needed and fencing over and between the kennels was added. Other infrastructure improvements included the kitchen, painting inside the shelter, and a donation of furniture to our reception area that allows two people to easily staff the desk and an area for potential adopters to sit and complete applications.
Process Improvements: In December of 2017, we added Dog and Cat Advocate positions to our Board/Advisory Council. These positions will assure our cats and dogs are receiving the best care possible, enrichment and opportunities to find their forever home. Additional accomplishments include simplifying our adoption process with a focus on “Adopters Welcome”, periodic communications through email with members/donors and staff/volunteers, reading challenged students from the local elementary school were rewarded with an opportunity to visit the cats and read their stories to the cats, and the formation of a grant team with clear identification of projects needing funding and tracking results of grant funds.
Assistance Programs: SPCHS assists households in the community that may be struggling to provide food and care for their pets. We have a pet food program and vouchers for spay/neuter. Thanks to a grant from the Washington Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies, with the funds they receive from the “We Love Our Pets” license plates, we were able to offer $10 co-pays resulting in 125 dogs and cats altered in 2017 vs. 103 in 2016. We are hoping again to receive grant funds in 2018 to offer the lower $10 co-pay to our community.
2017 Challenges: A challenge for us in 2017 was to insure we had adequate funds to support our operational needs. The mandated minimum wage increase of 14% in 2016 and 4% in 2017 was a significant impact to our payroll and staff expenses. Increased medical expenses for our cats and dogs were also a significant impact in 2017. Thankfully, with a bequest dedicated to the needs of cats, new fundraising opportunities with Pours for Paws and our partnership with Petco, and our continued success of existing fundraisers like our BIG Raffle, golf tournament and garage sale, we ended the year in the black. However, ensuring adequate operational funds will continue to be a challenge in 2018. We sent direct mail at the end of 2017 which should provide an influx of funds to start 2018.
2018 Priorities: Our priorities for 2018 include developing fundraising programs to ensure ongoing coverage of operational expenses, education on community cat trap, neuter/spay, return, defining our new Dog/Cat Advocate Board/Advisory Council positions, community outreach, rabies vaccinations and micro-chipping of cats, securing grant funds for animal training, and with already secured grant funds and volunteers upgrade our cat isolation cages, replace the grooming station, improve maintenance of the landscaping and paint the outside of the shelter.
We are looking forward to a terrific 2018! Thank you to our community, staff, and volunteers!
Sandy Clancy, Board President