Do you know the actual number of cats on your adoption floor? What about the dogs in stray holding? How many kittens are in foster care right now?
Much like maintaining a balanced checkbook, keeping an accurate inventory of the animals in your care helps inform you where you stand on a daily basis. Even with shelter software to manage your animal data, it's still important to check your computer records against the actual animals in each kennel and cage, in foster care and at offsite adoption locations.
What You’ll Need
Staff Time & Resources
Designate the appropriate staff members, such as your kennel manager and your feline manager, to do daily counts.
Train staff and volunteers who work with the animals to update the computer records for a change in location or status of every animal. A delay between moving animals and updating their computer records is often the culprit in animal mix-ups.
How to Take a Daily Count
Consider working in pairs: One person counts and the other checks animals against the computer report.
Run an inventory report from your shelter software.
With the inventory report in hand, walk through every animal housing area in your facility.
Count every animal in each area, checking them against your inventory report as you go.
Count each animal in group housing.
Count individual puppies or kittens in a litter.
As you count, make note of animals in need of care or a change in housing so that you can follow up after your walkthrough.
Immediately after the walkthrough, update your records to match the count, location, animal ID and description.
Each animal should have a unique animal ID; use a collar or tag to identify each animal.
Include both the animal ID and the kennel/cage assignment in the animal's computer record.
Immediately update the animal inventory when the location of an animal changes, including moves to and from:
different cage or group housing
foster care (including staff fosters)
an offsite adoption location
an offsite event, such as an adoption event
a spay/neuter clinic or veterinary hospital
If you identified animals in need of medical care or a housing change during your inventory, notify the appropriate staff.