2016 SPCHS Shelter Annual Report
SPCHS is fortunate to live in a fantastic community that provides great support. This community along with our great staff and volunteers have been essential to our success for over 20 years. We celebrated 20 years as a shelter in April with our “It’s Raining Cats & Dogs” dinner and silent auction recognizing Doctors Catherine Lindblad & Ed Ketel from Oceanside Animal Clinic and the support they have provided to the shelter since its inception.
In 2016, our shelter took in 477 cats and dogs, finding forever homes for 337 and returning 60 to their owners. Adoption sponsorships from businesses and individuals in the community supported the adoption of several cats and dogs including many that had been at the shelter for some time. Discovery Coast Real Estate sponsored adoptions where many of our older cats found their forever home. As always, our cats and dogs receive their vaccinations and are altered before adoption. We have now added the rabies vaccinations for both cats and dogs and our dogs are now microchipped. In 2017, we will include microchipping for our cats.
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 donation from the Lower Columbia Association of Realtors and a bequest for our cats, we are changing 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. Improvement of all cat habitats at the shelter will continue through 2017. 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.
With private donations and grant funds from the Wyss Foundation, we improved the security and safety of our facility for the cats and dogs and our staff and volunteers with security cameras that can be monitored at the shelter and remotely. With a grant from the Corder and Wyss Foundations and a private donor, improvements to the kennel fences will increase the safety and security of the dogs and the facility.
Our shelter continually strives to improve processes and procedures and implement Best Practices. Formalized processes and procedures were developed for our front desk, dog walkers, adoptions, social media and volunteer recruitment/training. We heard from our community that potential volunteers were not contacted after they completed an application. A member of our Advisory Council has taken the lead on ensuring all volunteer applicants are contacted. Our animal tracking application transitioned to PetPoint from an application that is no longer supported. The PetPoint application improved our tracking and reporting capabilities. We can now easily provide summary reports, detailed reports and medical information for the animals coming through our shelter. The improved reporting capabilities allowed us to partner with Best Friends Animal Society and Maddie’s Fund increasing our opportunity for grants, fundraising, and Best Practices support. We upgraded our computers and internet and wi-fi services, improving the productivity of our staff and front desk volunteers.
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, $10 co-pay vouchers are available for a limited time. Many of our community have already taken advantage of this opportunity.
2017 Priorities: SPCHS’s success can be contributed 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. Our priorities for 2017 include implementing Best Practices, expanded exposure to potential forever homes of the cats and dogs at the shelter, community outreach, and infrastructure improvements.
Best Practices: At our Board Retreat in February with the assistance of Best Friends Animal Society, we will review our adoption application and screening process and other policies for Best Practices. We want to ensure we are giving our animals the best opportunity for placement in a forever home.
Forever Home Opportunities: To support finding homes for the animals in our shelter, we want to communicate to the community and potential forever homes information about the animals in the shelter. In December of 2016, we had a very successful off-site adoption opportunity at the PETCO in Warrenton and plan to continue with off-site adoptions when possible. With a new Advisory Council position that is responsible for Pet Communication, we will have updated and complete pictures and information about the animals in the shelter. We are thankful to have a long-time volunteer writing great articles for the Chinook Observer about the cats and dogs at the shelter. Procedures for our social media communication were developed in 2016. A Social Media Advisory Council position was added to maintain focus on communication of available cats and dogs and activities at the shelter.
Community Outreach: Community outreach activities include children programs such as reading to our cats, in-shelter events such as our current annual “Blessing of the Animals”, and support for Community Cat Colony community volunteers with Best Practices information. We recently added an Advisory Council position for Community Cat Best Practices.
Infrastructure Improvements: Keeping our facility in good shape and making changes that make sense for the safety, security, and support of the cats and dogs at the shelter is always important to the Board. In 2017, we will continue to improve the cat habitats, the dog kennel fencing, and other infrastructure.
A challenge for the shelter in 2017 has been the state mandated minimum wage increases. The Board and Shelter Manager worked diligently on our 2017 budget to maintain the care for our animals, identify fundraising opportunities, and support our staff.
We are looking forward to a terrific 2017! Thank you to our community, staff, and volunteers!
Sandy Clancy, Board President