I went to the shelter this past weekend because they were holding one of their quarterly volunteer meetings. About a year ago the shelter hired a new director and all kinds of changes have been going on ever since. Being that I work full time and foster, I don't have a lot of time to go in and just hang out waiting to hear news and this meeting brings me up to speed on what is going on.
The shelter has some incredible plans to expand their operations as well as the spay/neuter clinic they have on-site. I will say that being a shelter in New England has its privileges because there isn't the stray overpopulation that there once was, or is in other regions of the US. When I first started volunteering for this shelter in the 90s they were doing great things with what they had, but as time and attitudes changed their live release rate went from your typical shelter stats of less than 50% for cats to the point where this little open admission county shelter can call itself "no-kill" (and does).
|One yr old Prince Charming.|
Up for adoption while in recovery
The clinic was added a few years ago and has been tirelessly neutering cats and small dogs for the community. They do low-cost operations for people who qualify financially, which has further pushed down the number of stray cats in the area. They were only limited by the fact that there was one vet and only room for one vet to work. They recently expanded the clinic - taking away part of the storage room where the foster supplies were stored - and added on additional staff. This new shelter expansion will increase the clinic even further and put it right in the front of the building - currently, you have to walk around to almost the back of the building and it can get confusing for clients.
|I didn't catch this cat's name.|
They also have plans to reroute the entrance to the shelter and increase parking, all very positive things as currently you drive up to the administrative offices which is not where the public needs to be.
Capital improvements are very important, and the plans sound wonderfully impressive, but considering I have to walk through the treatment room and isolation to get to fostering supplies, I wondered what plans they would have for that program and asked. It apparently hadn't been a consideration at that point because it flustered them for a minute or two, and they talked about how they were planning on giving access to the current storage area from the back of the building. I can only hope this is something I can drive up to so I don't have to walk all the way around the building to stock up on supplies for a few years while expansions happen.
|Luna. Luna is diabetic and has been up for adoption for over a year.|
|Either Bob or Ava.|
|Either Ava or Bob. Both are white cats that are seven years old. I didn't ask how to tell them apart. |
They were surrendered and thus caged together.
This kitty looks grumpy, but was purring at me and rubbing its head against the cage
|Bobo, 13 yrs old, REALLY wanted attention|
|Bobo is very thin, and has that old man feel to him, but he was a LOVE BUG!|
|Bear was not in the mood to have his photo taken, he became quite grumpy with me.|
|Maybe Bear would have liked me better if I had read Harry Potter to him.|
|Fluffy, one-year-old intact female Nebelung. I practically swooned|
|Fluffy was given up for having a 'bi-polar' personality. |
I'm guessing if they had spayed her, that would have stopped.
I know what recommendations I would make for improvements at our shelter, but I am curious, what improvements in shelter care for cats (in general) do you want to see? What improvements in your own shelters have you seen that have impressed you? What have you seen at other shelters? Be specific but don't feel you have to name names if you don't want to.