Manage episode 297855347 series 2794857
GUEST: Shyanne Schull is the director of Washoe County Regional Animal Services in Reno, Nevada, where there is an average annual intake of 13,000 animals with a 40% Return-To-Owner rate over a 10-year average. Before that she was director of Kern County Animal Services in California. In her 22-year career in animal welfare, she has worked in a variety of animal services roles, including kennel worker, dispatcher, officer, shelter manager, and director. She also has a degree in animal sciences from California Polytechnic State University.
MAIN QUESTION: How can shelters and animal services agencies develop robust Return-to-Owner programs?
- Make microchips free or low-cost and easy to get. A $5 microchip is much cheaper than caring for a pet at the shelter for even a day.
- Upload registration information for people at the time they get the microchip so that they don’t have to do it, as many people neglect this next step.
- Get scanners and laptops or tablets for officers to use in the field so they can take animals who have microchips straight home without ever having to go back to the shelter.
- Take photos of animals out in the field and get them online as quickly as possible, updating your found-pets site frequently so that people can claim their pets sooner and the animals spend less time in the shelter.
- Share reunification stories everywhere you can, through the news media as well as social media, so that people understand the importance of programs to get pets back home.
- Track and share data, such as how many animals were returned in the field as opposed to returned from the shelter and how many were returned because of a microchip.