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 to not only 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 2019, our shelter took in 643 cats and dogs, finding forever homes for 440 and returning 107 to their owners with the remaining balance at the shelter waiting for their forever home or transferred to another agency. Our shelter manager and adoption counselors work with potential adopters helping them find the perfect match. Our staff and volunteers were delighted when one of our long-term dogs who had been with us for 18 months, Charlie, was adopted.
Details of our 2019 intake and outcome are published and available. As a no-kill shelter, SPCHS had a 97% live release rate in 2019 calculated by dividing live outcomes by total outcomes. As always, our cats and dogs receive their vaccinations including rabies and are altered before adoption. All dogs are micro-chipped and most of our cats are now micro-chipped.
Assistance Programs: In support of our mission to reduce pet overpopulation through community outreach, SPCHS funded reduced cost spay/neuters for 207 household dogs and cats. Thanks to a grant from the “We Love Our Pets” license plate program many of the household spay/neuters were provided with just a $10 co-pay. Our Community Cat Advocate assisted and educated many community members with the trap, neuter/spay, return (TNR) process for community/feral cats. With her support, 47 community/feral cats were altered, vaccinated and returned to their colony or location. Thanks to a grant from the Summerlee Foundation, many of the TNR spay/neuters and vaccinations costs were covered.
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. Our Dog Advocate leads the dog walker volunteers bringing the team together for training, scheduling and sharing of information and experiences with the dogs. She ensures the dogs are walked every day with most dogs walked two to three times per day. Our Dog Advocate works with professional trainers to assist with dogs that require some extra training and focus to increase their adoptability. Our shelter was kept busy with many kitten strays and surrenders. We are thankful to all of our foster homes caring for these many kitten litters and our cat cuddlers enriching the lives of our cats at the shelter.
Strategic Plan: A major accomplishment for the Board in 2019 was completing a strategic planning process resulting in a new Strategic Plan. Thank you to Kelly Rupp for leading the process and Bev Arnoldy for handling all of the documentation. New mission and vision statements were created. The process supported an update of the Bylaws, creation of policies and processes for Conflict of Interest, Board Recruitment, Finance Charter and Cash Flow metrics as well as a review of the Labor and Industries documentation and compliance.
Infrastructure Improvements: Thanks to a grant from The Templin Foundation, we were able to install a commercial washer and dryer. The commercial washer and dryer improved our capability to keep up with the high demand of laundry and provide much cleaner and sanitary towels, blankets and toys for our cats and dogs. With grant funds from The Loren H. Corder Foundation, the outside of the shelter annex was painted and now matches the shelter building. The shelter annex was long overdue for this painting.
In December, a donor management system was selected and migration process started. The system will improve tracking and acknowledgement of donations and provide for end of year tax letters to our donors.
2019 Challenges: SPCHS has many great and dedicated volunteers. However, we still experience challenges of burn-out and having enough volunteers willing and able to step-up to leadership positions. Additionally, the minimum wage increases and our medical costs continued to be a challenge in 2019. Ensuring we had adequate funds to support our operational needs was a major focus of the fundraising committee. We are very thankful for our community support and our volunteers that help us meet the financial needs to support the cats and dogs at the shelter.
2020 Priorities: Our priorities for 2020 include creating cash flows to cover program expenses, recruiting and training volunteers for leadership positions, replacing the roof of the shelter building and redesigning our website to a more friendly and easier to maneuver site.
We are looking forward to a terrific 2020! Thank you to our community, staff and volunteers!
Sandy Clancy, Board President