Ideas For Humane Society

Discussion in 'The Cat Lounge' started by artiemom, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. artiemom

    artiemom Thread Starter Artie, my buddy Top Cat

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    Hey all, I do not know if this is appropriate for here, so moderators, please do what is best for this thread/post.

    Our humane society is in need of help.
    I was wondering if any of you guys would have ideas.

    We do not have a brick & motor site. We show the cats at Petsmart. The problem is, we need more volunteers, more fosters, much more promotion...
    In short, we need help.

    Even though we are located in a semi-affluent area, we do not get much support from the community and the volunteers seem as apathetic.

    Any ideas? Thoughts? On how we can reach out more to the community. Fundraisers really do not get much response.. even a volunteer meeting, gets none of the volunteers there.. it is appalling..

    We desperately need ideas. We do have a Facebook page, and have cats listed on PetFinder.
    We kind of need a PR person, or ideas for getting more volunteers, and foster homes.

    We really need to have/find someone to take the 'bull by the horns" and reorganize it. But that seems to be an impossible task.

    How do other Shelters/Rescues deal with things??

    I am afraid we are in dire need of help.

    Any thoughts?

    I would appreciate any help at all...

    Thanks for reading this..
     
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  2. kashmir64

    kashmir64 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I don't have any ideas (yet) on how to get volunteers. However, if space is a problem, our shelter has special events. Tomorrow, they are having a fathers day event where men can adopt a pet for free. There are limited 'free' pets, but it brings people. They also have a TNR program where they offer the cats as 'working' cats or barn cats for free. This is a very agricultural area and everyone needs barn cats.

    Personally, I think they should offer: If you foster an animal, and decide to adopt it, then the fee is waived. This would not only help with the space issue, but might would bring in foster's also. Although, I do realize that they don't get the funds needed to run the shelter if they give everything away.
     
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  3. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

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    Well, this wouldn't make a whole lot of difference, but every little bit helps.

    The Chuck and Don's pet supply store in my neighborhood has a cage up by the window where they normally keep a cat who is up for adoption. They put a sign on top with the cat's name, and people can come in the store and interact with the cat. They also put up information about adoption fees, and all of this is in partnership with the local Humane Society.

    Judging by how frequently I go in to talk to the cat and find the latest one gone, they seem to have a pretty good adoption rate. They had a black tomcat (neutered, presumably) who was adopted on Christmas Eve.

    My impression is that the folks at Chuck and Don's are doing all the care, not relying on volunteers to come in and do it, but I could be wrong about that. Certainly it's good advertising for them; people come in to talk to the cat who might otherwise be going to PetCo or PetSmart. I know that I always check Chuck and Don's first when I need something for Jasmine, and I suspect that others do as well.

    Margret
     
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  4. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Top Cat

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    I found out about the no-kill shelter I volunteer at because they had an information stand at a community event. Maybe that's something that might help?
     
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  5. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    If you have a local paper, contact them and see if they will do a story on your group. You can also contact local radio stations and ask if they will air a public service announcement about your need for fosters.
     
  6. DeweytheLion

    DeweytheLion The Biggest Smallest Kitten Adult Cat

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    Kitten lady offers brochures and things of that nature that can be printed online( Shelter Resources ) she does focus on kittens but I belive her brochures could help your next meeting. I would advise you plan a big one and take time to make sure you have all the supplies you'll need to make it perfect; some of kitten lady's information booklets (or you could always work on making one of your own, that suits your shelter's needs), some supplies they can take that every foster will need, and cookies! Advertise this upcoming meeting A LOT. Find your local for sale/trade groups on facebook and advertise it there. Make it interesting and appealing, something like, "Animal lovers and enthusiasts, would you like to take your love for animals to the next step..."
    Be sure to explain how big of a difference they can make when they become fosters. Explain to them about how your shelter works and why it's so important they help however they can, even if they think it isn't much.
    The more information you can give them, the more interested they'll be. Don't give up on the group meetings, they're the best way to get out there!
    You could also make separate ads for the different animals that need a foster; I mentioned a for sale/trade group on facebook before, use that. Put a picture of the cat or dog and advertise your need for it to find a foster, specify whether an expirienced one is needed or not, talk about the kind of care that specific animal is looking for, and guaranteed you'll find someone that wants to help. Your chances are better if you post in more than one group.
    I'm sure there's more advice coming.
    My local shelter gets animals from Salt Lake, meanwhile there are only about 5,000 people in the area. They're also no-kill and seem to be doing pretty well about overpopulation, except for the cat side of things. Right now they have dropped their adoption fee in half with medical bills that quadruple that number. They also hold a monthly Spay/Neuter clinic where male cats are fixed for $20, females $40, and all dogs $40. They gave my kitty shots and dewormer for $5 extra. Not that I'm suggesting this, but I guess I like to ramble. :lol:
    I'm a volunteer there even though I can't go in now, because I have a little boy I'm feeding every two hours, I'm very "in-touch" with the woman who runs it, so I'll definitely be giving her a call for some advice.
     
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  7. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

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    Cookies are an excellent idea. I remember that many years ago at my church we had a very active women's group and a men's group that was constantly right on the edge of being totally dead. The few stalwarts in the men's group kept asking how we did it. We pointed out that we always had chocolate at our meeting. I don't think they believed us when we said that was the primary difference -- certainly they didn't start serving chocolate -- but that was the difference. :lol: People will sometimes do astonishing things for the sake of free treats, all the while telling themselves that the treats had nothing to do with it; we're a lot like cats that way.

    [​IMG]

    Margret
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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  8. weebeasties

    weebeasties TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Do you have a university or community college near you? If you could put up some flyers there you may be able to attract more volunteers. Some of those students may be able to offer their skills to help your organization. Someone who is studying communications, advertising, social media, etc. may have some great ideas about how to promote the shelter. Also, retirees may be willing to volunteer their time. Our local shelter has a lady who knits beautiful little blankets that will fit in the bottom of a cat carrier and they give them to anyone who adopts a pet as part of a "care package".
     
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  9. abyeb

    abyeb Charlie's Purrson Top Cat

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    Great idea about the university or college! Maybe you can see if you can get the pre-vet students involved. I've heard that those students need something like 1000 hours of animal experience to have a "competitive" application for vet school, so they would likely be enthusiastic for the opportunity to help.
     
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  10. artiemom

    artiemom Thread Starter Artie, my buddy Top Cat

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    OMG!! What great Ideas!! Keep them coming!!

    Our next meeting is in mid-July. I would love to have a list together of ideas; I could present it then.

    The Vet school/university is a good idea.. even high school ....
    Problem is: Summer... school is out.. but there may be some kids taking summer classes.

    And the town does have a "day" we need to find out when that is... usually July or August.

    Thanks!! Yeah, we also need some cats.. but we need fosters lined up before we get the cats....vicious circle..
     
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  11. Margret

    Margret TCS Member Top Cat

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    College students don't necessarily take a summer vacation, and most colleges do have a summer term. Put it up in the student center, college library, wherever they have bulletin boards for this kind of thing (after getting permission, of course), and keep it current. And when the autumn term rolls around, put up a new one. Every time the semester (or quarter, depending on the college) changes, put up a fresh one. The college office should be able to give you information about their schedule. You can get it at the same time as you get permission to post.

    Margret
     
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  12. kashmir64

    kashmir64 TCS Member Top Cat

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    They could also participate in local parades. Throw out candy wrapped in a paper saying they need volunteers.

    4th of July is coming up.
     
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  13. Debie

    Debie Dandii one of favorite places to lay Kitten

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    Hi
    I found your post heart warming
    Have you tried schools that may have extra credit options or maybe try the college that give classes on veterinarian assisistantand part of their graduation requires externship .where are you located I live in fresno ca if could volunteer I will.i will keep thinking more ways I could help
     
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  14. Debie

    Debie Dandii one of favorite places to lay Kitten

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    I also have been thinking on a non profit center that will raise funds for pet owners that are not able to get veterinarian help because of a financial issue
     
  15. artiemom

    artiemom Thread Starter Artie, my buddy Top Cat

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    The location of the humane society is about 15 miles north west of Boston, MA...
     
  16. gitabooks

    gitabooks TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Living out in the country I can say that Rural Shelters do have many of the same issues you mentioned. Unlike some shelters in the city, where over a week is considered a long time for a dog or cat to wait, our dogs take weeks or months and our cats take months or years to find homes. It can be disheartening, but we have a great team of staff and volunteers, and the community has rallied many times to help, despite lower adoption numbers than some areas.

    Here is a list of some things that could help:
    • Posters, fliers, and word-of-mouth to let people know about the shelter
    • Yard-sales, "pet shows", dog walking events, and other community events and participation
    • Spay/neutered clinics or assistance in trapping cats for spay/neuter
    • Shirts, hats, or bumper-stickers with you're logo
    • Education about the benefits of pet ownership and proper pet ownership
    • Puppy training classes to encourage people to train puppies to prevent them abandoning them later in life
    • Going to schools or businesses and offering volunteer training after bringing a few dogs and/or cats to get them interested
    • Facebook stories and fun descriptions of cats to get people's attention, than ask friends and family to share these posts
    • Be a part of any animal related event to help educate on the importance of spay/neuter, microchipping, licenses, vaccinations, and adoption
    • Offer foster pamphlets to describe what fostering pets is like an how it helps the animals and shelter so much
    • Team up with other rescues to get in on their events if possible, especially larger ones where more people attend, and ask them to reference you if people looking for a pet didn't find what they wanted with them
    • It doesn't have to be expensive to make fun posters, notes, or signs during events that get people thinking about benefits of pet ownership. Mention how they calm you, how adopting is saving a life, how they aren't always old and badly behaved, so that people understand how wonderful a shelter pet can be

    Hope this helps!
     
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  17. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    With small rural shelters, where peta can wait years to find homes, it's important to keep pets in the homes they have and provide the necessary aid for that to happen. So if you can start a pet food pantry, a vet fund, a spay/neuter fund, training resources. . .basically take away a lot of reasons people have for giving up their pets. That will prove to be a lot more helpful than just taking in unwanted pets.
     
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  18. jcat

    jcat Mo(w)gli's can opener Staff Member Moderator

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    Getting enough volunteers is a huge problem for us, too. There are too many people who come once or twice and then disappear because they didn't like getting their hands dirty. :lol:

    How about people who have to do community service hours? Our shelter is listed with the county court, and we regularly get people who have to do 25 - 100 hours of service. Many of them are quite helpful, though there are always a few who show up once or twice and do nothing, so they have to be reported and serve their jail terms.
     
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  19. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    I can't answer that myself but Watermelon Mountain Ranch in Rio Rancho, New Mexico seems to always have an event going on and scads of volunteers. You need to find successful rescues and pick their brains.
     
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  20. ashade1

    ashade1 Wild and Wonderful Animal Rescue Director Top Cat

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    Well my "big idea" was already mentioned and that was to reach out to schools in the area and their clubs. You can also organize events... such as a dog walking event... and advertise free pizza or something and see if a local pizza place will donate a few pizzas? You also could host a fundraising event... like an auction and ask local businesses to donate goods/services. Another donation idea would be donation bins at pet stores- those seem to be a hit! I find that a good active facebook page really sets up your communication with the community though!
     
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