As animal welfare supporters many of you may understand how difficult the day to day operations can be when caring for homeless animals. Not only do we have the regular tasks most typical businesses have we have the added chores of caring for the pets at our facility. That may sound like a simple thing, but it really takes a lot of dedicated staff, volunteers and resources. Some tasks associated with the pets directly are feeding, cleaning, socializing, grooming and training. At the same time we are working with people…whether it’s volunteers, staff, a potential adopter, someone needing assistance, veterinarians and supporters. Add in the business of paying bills, making financial decisions, writing grants, social media, websites and marketing – well you can see how it truly takes a team to make the ESPCA successful.
There isn’t a magic instruction manual available that tells us how to operate (we wish that were the case). Most of what we do is learned from years of experience and networking with like-minded organizations and individuals that deal with animal welfare. That’s where the Petfinder Foundation comes in. The Petfinder Foundation is a public charity that works to end the euthanasia of adoptable pets by assisting animal shelters and rescue groups across North America. The Petfinder website is an amazing, no cost, resource to assist in getting pets adopted. We are able to upload information about our pets into their nationwide database. A potential adopter can search for a pet in 14,000 shelters with one search. Pretty amazing…but that’s only part of what they do to help shelters.
Petfinder is also amazing because they provide resources to shelters in the form of educational webinars, print publications, informational newsletters and their amazing Adoption Options events. A few volunteers from the ESPCA attended an Adoption Options Event in Oklahoma City in October. They were radiating with helpful information when they returned. They were able to hear professionals present on topics related to community outreach, shelter medicine and shelter enrichment.
They were able to see a demonstration from Jenn Barg, MS, ACAAB, CDBC. Behavior Coordinator, Denver Animal Shelter on how important shelter enrichment is for our adoptable pets. She touched on how music can be beneficial to shelter pets.
- Dogs spend more time resting and sleeping and less time standing and body shaking.
- Dogs spend less time vocalizing and barking—which means less stress for other dogs in the same kennels, and less stress for the staff and visitors too.
- Over 70% of dogs and cats may be calmer and less anxious.
After the Adoption Options event we decided adding music to our facility was something we needed to do. Again, the Petfinder Foundation stepped up in the form of a grant to cover the proper equipment we needed. The rescueanimalmp3.org donated an mp3 player loaded with pet friendly tunes! We will be installing the equipment over the next few weeks.
Missy was enjoying some sunshine outside and was kind enough to let us get a quick photo of her rocking out to some tunes. Missy has been with us longer than any other of the pets we currently have. Missy is a 4 1/2 year old Terrier/Basenji mix. This sweet and friendly girl loves to play and be petted. She’s learning to walk well on a leash and will be a great walking buddy. Missy is a compact to medium sized girl and will do best as an only dog. Her golden reddish coat only needs the occasional brushing to keep her in tip top shape. She is intelligent and responds well to consistent and positive training with treats. If you are looking for that special pup that will fill your life with joy come by and meet Missy.
Petfinder and the Petfinder Foundation continue to aid not only the ESPCA, but many other pet shelters everyday! They are truly a blessing to the ESPCA. We owe a great deal of gratitude to Petfinder and Petfinder Foundation for continuing to support pet shelters all over the USA. Thank you!