Changes Coming in 2016

Changes Coming in 2016

Tired yet of all the predictions for 2016? I’m not good at guessing things but I do know some of what is coming up in the new year, since I’m the one who put the requests into the budget.   Based on what was approved we will be seeing some positive changes happening around here – and we are all excited!

Some money was approved to change the kitten room from cold stainless steel individual cages to 4 small friendly colony rooms. With the support of the Animal Shelter League and FAIRE (Friends of the animals in the Redwood Empire) who have been fundraising all last year to raise the additional funds needed for this change, we are almost there! Some room naming opportunities are still available so call me if interested, and donations are still appreciated (go to animalshelterleaguerp.org to donate online). A contractor has just been signed for the work and it’s all just hinging (literally) on a door handle from the manufacturer of the product to be installed.

Along with this change we will be making improvements to our indoor dog visiting room. This room will be getting new walls and a mural, ceiling fans for air circulation, and the floor repainted. This area was enclosed and made into an indoor room during our last renovation 11 years ago, but was never completely finished. It will be much cheerier for the public coming in and make a much better backdrop for the photographs used to promote our shelter residents for adoption.

Another exciting change for the staff here is some improvements to our kennel kitchen. Try preparing meals for 100+ hungry mouths in a small crowded space! More storage will help keep the food bowls and water bottles organized and clear the counters so we have some elbowroom to work in. Trying to keep this facility up and running and improving the workflow is always on the to-do list.

Two of our staff will be going through a Cat Retention Course and learning ways to help our community solve their cat behavior problems with the goal of keeping cats out of the shelter. If we can solve the issues, maybe the cats wouldn’t have to lose their homes (and you would be happier with your pet)! This is a 10-week course so it won’t be up and running until Spring; stay tuned and watch our Facebook page for updates. We’re super excited about this program though and hope you are too.

We’re also renaming and revamping our “No More Lost Pets” campaign. It’s now the “Get Them Back Home” campaign and it’s to promote reuniting lost animals with their families. Why do strays sit unclaimed in shelters? Pets wander away and without a way to let people now where they live, what’s an animal to do? Putting on a tag and giving him a currently registered microchip is a way to give your pet a voice. It’s like magic only simpler! And they are both FREE at our shelter for residents of RP and Cotati. Along with this we post all strays on our Facebook page (like us and become part of our animal saving team!) to make sure worried parents have a way to know their pet is in our care. Our goal? All strays going home within 24 hours – and why not?!

We will finally be rolling out the P.A.W. this spring and, again, we are super excited to be able to bring this to our community. The P.A.W. , Pet Adoption Wagon, is a van outfitted to bring adoption animals out into the community for adoption events. We are looking at creative ways to increase adoptions and this a very easy way to expand our reach new areas that might not think to come to the shelter for a pet. We will need more event volunteers so think about that and drop a note to our volunteer coordinator (volunteerwithanimals@rpcity.org) if you think that might be something that you would like to help with. New programs mean more help is needed!

We’re looking forward to the challenges of 2016. Improving the shelter and expanding our life-saving programs is definitely at the top of our New Year’s resolutions. With your help and support we will continue rise to the challenges we face. Thank you for trusting us with the care of your animals.

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