Most kennels struggle to find families for the dogs they look after and they always seek new solutions to solve the problems they are confronted with. On the other hand, the Roice-Hurst Humane Society has quite a different kind of problem in the fact that they actually cleared out all of their kennels and are now bringing dogs from outside the state of Colorado to continue their good work.
A Change of Circumstance
The way in which they managed such an impressive feat is through some simple changes. After an outbreak of kennel cough they had to close the shelter for a week and as a consequence all the intakes had to be frozen for that period. The dogs had to be quarantined after they were separated and only after the outbreak was eradicated could the adoptions or intakes resume.
Now the interesting thing happened when they reopened and the dogs were being brought back gradually. The shelter staff noticed that the fact that the selection was more limited led to more frequent and immediate adoptions.
The staff could spend more time with each dog to prepare them for the new families and at the same time it allowed those who wanted to adopt to meet each dog more thoroughly. These changes led to more adoptions and the shelter management wanted to prolong this situation for as long as possible. This meant to an increase in adoptions by 20% in 2016 and they currently require additional dogs to be brought from other states since they don’t have any left in their facilities.
According to the shelter executive Director Anna Stout another reason for the increase in adoptions was due to the new policies and procedures she enacted starting in 2015 and according to her: “We used to have a very restrictive adoption process. The policy before was, ‘Prove to us that you’re going to be a good owner.’ We’ve turned every adoption into a chance to engage and educate the community. We really want to make sure the transition is successful. We didn’t want to be like, ‘Here’s your dog, good luck,’ anymore.”
237 dogs were welcomed from other counties and that meant a triple number from the one that they had in 2015. We hope that many other shelters will try to learn and emulate the success they had in Grand Junction, Colorado as this would benefit everyone.
Making the adoption process more serious means that you will have fewer persons who will return the dogs after a few days as only those who know what that responsibility means will manage to adopt a pet. It might seem like extra work on first glance but this actually helps educate each pet owner and it will save you the drag of having to take back a pet that isn’t wanted by the adoptive parents anymore so we think this is a great example for everyone involved with animal shelters!