HSOV board meeting

My treatise was happily unneeded. Our new Executive Director, Steve, has taken the bull by the horns and is making huge efforts to ensure our dogs are getting spayed and neutered.

1) He’s calling everyone who has adopted a pet this year and is asking when or if they got the surgery done. If they have not spayed or neutered their pet he’s giving them 2 weeks to get it done before we reclaim the animal. Don’t know if they’d actually reclaim animals, but the threat is enough.

2) He’s rotating through area veterinarians to keep them from arguing, and every pet that gets adopted over 5-6 months of age leaves the shelter for the vet’s office, gets the surgery, gets returned to the shelter and is picked up by the adopter after their surgery.

3) Any pets under 5-6 months of age being adopted leave with a surgical appointment and a deadline. He calls the owner and calls the vet to make sure the appointment was kept and the surgery done.

4) He has redesigned all the forms used by the front desk to give them all “teeth.”  The adoption form asks more piercing questions regarding the adopters’ former pets and the care they intend to provide. The surrender form lets folks know what leaving a dog at our shelter means.

5) He has clarified the fee structure and is reinstating the fee to reclaim a lost dog. This fee wasn’t being collected, losing the shelter $1,000+ in revenue over the last few months.

6) I’ve asked, as a shelter matchmaker, that all this information be posted at the shelter so we can walk people through the fee shedule while they’re deciding to adopt. Steve has agreed that this will be done.

All in all, way better than it was. And the stats are improving. Only 13 dogs were euthanized last month, and none of them were euthanized for lack of space. There were some very sick dogs PTS, and some aggressive dogs PTS.

One of the board members commented that “we’re very close to being a no-kill shelter and we’d qualify for more funding if we were no-kill.”  I’m going to do some research, but I think “no-kill” involves more behavior modification and veterinary care, not just that you don’t euthanize because of space restrictions.

Congratulations to the HSOV board of directors — and especially our new Executive Director — for hard work and good decisions.

In other news … I’ve extended an olive branch to our local AKC Obedience Club. After 2 years living 20 minutes apart I’m offering to teach a rally obedience class in exchange for a working slot in their top-level agility class for Bud and Hazard and Blue (who need to get on other people’s equipment). Their board of directors are doing some checking and will get back to me.

In other news … I’ve absolutely GOT to get onto the nastiest job I’ve been asked to do in the last 10 years. I’ve got a 6″ stack of volunteer forms, most of which were entered into an excel program by the previous volunteer coordinator. I want to put them into FileMaker Pro and create single call sheets for specific volunteer tasks.

This shelter wastes paper like nothing I’ve ever seen before. No forms are ever 2-sided. All forms are a minimum of 2 pages — large type — double spaced. These volunteer  forms are 2-4 pages long, asking for drivers’ licences and criminal histories, etc.  The logistics of entering information from them is troublesome. I can’t just stack them and work through them. I have to interpret all this mumbo-jumbo, only to discover I’ve just entered a bunch of information on a 7-year-old kid who probably will not be back.

But nowhere on the form is the question “are you really interested in training and becoming an asset to our shelter or are you just yanking our chain?” Or, “do you ever read and answer your e-mail from the address you just listed above?”  LOL

Like I said, nasty task, and one I need to get to soon.

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