It’s nice to reflect back on the year and see what’s been accomplished. It’s too early to have all our stats compiled but it looks again like our overall number of animals handled is down slightly – which is a great trend. 2012 was a busy year with a lot of financial issues for many people and the focus on the election, which made the country nervous and preoccupied.
We were able to continue our program of offering free cat spays and neuters all year, and dog surgeries were available for the low price of just $60. Through this program we altered 177 cats and 112 dogs this year. Think about how many litters that prevented! Each of those animals received free vaccines and a microchip as well.
After attending a conference that spoke to the need to help reunite more of the lost pets with their guardians instead of focusing so much on just trying to rehome all the strays that come in, we asked the Animal Shelter League to fund free pet tags for all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. We’ve been offering these free personalized tags (still available) since June. It’s hard to evaluate the success of this program because if it’s working the animals never come to the shelter! When a Good Samaritan finds a lost pet instead of bringing it to us, they can just return the animal to his home. It would be great to hear some success stories – so if you’ve helped a lost pet get back home, especially if you were able to do so because he was wearing an ID tag, please let us know!
We had seven sessions of our popular summer camp this year, which gave over 75 children exposure to various animals and animal care concepts. Through field trips, guest speakers and hands-on activities children learned about the importance of spay/neuter, ID tags and microchips, dog training, respect for wildlife and more. We’re offering a mini-version of this program next week during the holiday break as well. We’ll take any opportunity to encourage a young person’s love, and respect for, animals. Birthday parties, group tours of the shelter, and classroom presentations are also available.
As part of the Department of Public Safety, we assist officers with animal related issues; conducting inspections for kennel permits and picking up confined strays when requested, as well as networking with other shelters in the area, moving animals from crowded shelters to those with space available and moving animals that have been in one place for a while into a new venue to try and promote adoptions.
Speaking of adoptions, we held several promotions to remove the price barrier and to get attention for the animals in our care; each with varying amounts of success. We worked with rescue groups and trainers to try and give our special needs animals a chance for adoptions and, thanks to the Animal Shelter League’s medical fund, were able to save several animals with expensive but treatable medical issues. Each of our 200 volunteers helped in one way or another to make each animal’s stay more comfortable and successful. We certainly couldn’t do all that we do without this dedicated volunteer corps.
2012 was a typical year – animals in……and animals out. We’re glad we are here to help each and every one of the more than 1,100 animals that came through out door. Thank you for allowing us to help them! Here’s wishing you a safe and happy 2013!