Published on December 22, 2008
Rural Spay/ Neuter Programs… Breaking New Ground Presenter Ruth Steinberger : 1 Rural Spay/ Neuter Programs… Breaking New Ground Presenter Ruth Steinberger Slide 2: 2 In rural areas with no county wide municipal shelters, your program may be the first organized humane effort ever. Through research into high quality programs for your demographics, and implementing those programs in conjunction with other organizations dedicated to community betterment, you can start changing the status of companion animals in your town or county. Slide 3: 3 A small group of rural volunteers can have a tremendous impact by running regularly scheduled spay/ neuter clinics, along with an active community-wide education program. Providing Good Leadership Is the Key to Your Success : 4 Providing Good Leadership Is the Key to Your Success Leadership means creating or joining a network of people with a common interest in animal welfare and community betterment. The following should occur simultaneously: : 5 The following should occur simultaneously: Assess your community to evaluate the level of need. Research available ways to provide a spay/ neuter program for low-income homes, and to educate the community overall. Establish goals and stay focused on them. Build your network with other service organizations. Education and Outreach…Increasing awareness within your entire community… Education is all about:“The 3 L’s”- Laundromats, Libraries, and Legislators… : 6 Education and Outreach…Increasing awareness within your entire community… Education is all about:“The 3 L’s”- Laundromats, Libraries, and Legislators… Laundromats… : 7 Laundromats, social service offices and “curb markets,” are great places to put information that reaches our target homes. Laundromats… Libraries… : 8 Libraries… Library bulletin boards and local newspapers are great places for reaching households in your community that are not low-income, but may be unaware of local problems affecting animals. This is another step in bringing your entire community on board. Legislators…. : 9 Legislators…. …and most local officials who create public policies, including animal related codes, may have little understanding of the need for pro-active policies including neuter before release. Make local officials, as well as state legislators, aware of your concerns. Officials and legislators are the tail that wags the dog! Outreach involves… : 10 Outreach involves… …developing a network to further your goals. Find your common ground with other organizations and service agencies. For example, the chamber of commerce may assist you because of the appearance of stray animals; the health department may assist you because of dog bites and local law enforcement may be aware of other problems as well. Although their focus may not be animal welfare, they may share your goal of seeing fewer unwanted animals. Invite others to join your success. : 11 Invite others to join your success. For example, when your organization receives funding, ask a local official to join you in announcing it to the public. Your local media is a lifeline to the growth of your program and potential funding—get them involved. Invite a Popular Legislator to Announce Your Program Start-Up : 12 Invite a Popular Legislator to Announce Your Program Start-Up Starting Spay/ Neuter Programs… Assess Your Community First : 13 Starting Spay/ Neuter Programs… Assess Your Community First Population assessment- Number of households under the targeted income level Rural, town or urban? Service radius from clinic? Transportation? How many veterinarians to percentage of homes on public assistance? Proximity of veterinarians to low-income areas Slide 14: 14 Sources for information Use census 2000 and, if available, local animal control offices . Low-income services, social service agencies & the chamber of commerce can help you understand the clients you will serve. Assessing Your Information : 15 Assessing Your Information Compare per capita numbers of spay/ neuter surgeries of successful programs in regions similar to yours in order to create a program to fit your community. Achieving “effective surgeries” in a timely manner will help your organization have the impact that you are striving for. A Few Definitions… : 16 A Few Definitions… “Base line number,” refers to spays or neuters that would normally be performed in a community with no funding assistance and no increased educational outreach. The goal of an effective program is to reach homes that would not have already been included in this base line number. “Effective surgeries,” refers to surgeries that are performed that would not occur without financial assistance. Programs that make spay/ neuter available to low-income homes, homes that otherwise would not be able to have a pet sterilized, provide “effective surgeries.” Open programs, including coupon programs, do not increase the number of animals that could not otherwise be served, and may have little impact, waste money and alienate veterinarians. Peter Marsh, quote Unwanted litters originate from three main sources. They are… : 17 Unwanted litters originate from three main sources. They are… Pets belonging to low-income homes that cannot afford to have a pet sterilized. Shelters and adoption programs that release intact animals back into the community, thereby resupplying the number of animals in reproductive circulation. Feral cats. Project Your Goals… create effective programs… : 18 Project Your Goals… create effective programs… Set some goals… “casual” spay/ neuter programs in rural communities, including stop & start, or intermittent programs, are not as effective ones which enable people to follow through on a decision to get a pet spayed. Create your program based on your assessment rather than creating a program based on your immediate resources…reach out…reach out…reach out…locate the resources you need! Creating the Rural Program That Fits the Bill… : 19 Creating the Rural Program That Fits the Bill… Will you transport to a large clinic? Will you use a mobile clinic? Will you use a M*A*S*H program? Will you ask local veterinarians to reduce the cost of a limited number of surgeries? Will you use a local vet on certain days instead of a mobile unit If you answered yes to either of the last two, “In-Clinic Clinics” may be a better option for you! Transport to A Central S/ N Clinic : 20 Transport to A Central S/ N Clinic Locate the closest clinic to you (www.nsnrt.org), determine necessary number in order for transport to be cost effective, partner with any nearby organization to develop higher numbers, a larger volunteer base and a more effective local program. Transport to a spay/ neuter clinic can often provide the most stable service for your program if growth significant is anticipated. On-Board or Off-Board Recovery Mobile Units : 21 On-Board or Off-Board Recovery Mobile Units Mobile units come to a central location in your community. They provide a way to have a volume of cost effective surgeries periodically. Mobile units, M*A*S*H or blitz programs must comply with state laws regarding veterinary practice. Off-Board Recovery Mobile Units… : 22 Off-Board Recovery Mobile Units… Are the, “surgery room,” only. Holding cages and recovery areas are in a host building. Number of animals is flexible and can be increased based on the veterinarian’s capacity. Require a separate building that is temperature controlled such as an armory, VFW hall, etc. More economical than traditional units to purchase and to operate. Slide 23: 23 On-board Recovery Mobile Units : 24 On-board Recovery Mobile Units Holding area, surgery room and recovery are all on the unit. Require smaller volunteer base, but are normally limited by the available cage space. M*A*S*H : 25 M*A*S*H A M*A*S*H or S.O.S. program brings the equipment and staff on site at a single location periodically. May be a fire station, school, armory or church. The M*A*S*H program may include one or more veterinarians and visit an area monthly or simply periodically throughout the year. In-Clinic Clinic : 26 In-Clinic Clinic Uses the local animal hospital on a day it is otherwise closed to equal the services of a mobile unit for that day. Must include income screening. Sort of a mobile unit without wheels. Financial Impact of In-Clinic Clinics… : 27 Financial Impact of In-Clinic Clinics… Generate positive revenue per surgery instead of being a loss for the vet, so greater numbers may be served Revenue is generated during off-hours; regular business is not affected. Costs less because there is no use of hospital office staff for scheduling or any contact with the public. Provides a high volume of surgeries with a limited number (even one) of veterinarians, replacing a mobile service. The more surgeries the better. For the Veterinarian this Works Because… : 28 For the Veterinarian this Works Because… The isolated time block means that the vet does not compete with him/ herself for their regular workday. Targeted income means that the vet is not competing with him/ herself for their regular clients. Although cost is reduced, these services become an additional revenue stream, not a loss. And for the humane society… : 29 And for the humane society… Creates an accessible spay/ neuter clinic with zero start-up capital, i.e. purchase of a mobile, building costs, etc. Increases availability of potential services because the service is, “already in town.”. Extra surgeries can be scheduled to compensate for likely no-shows, and the no-shows do not represent a loss to anyone. A “win-win” solution… : 30 A “win-win” solution… By clustering low-cost surgeries, the day is financially a win/ win for the vet and the humane organization. In-Clinic Clinics are a cost effective solution for the humane society by providing low cost services normally found in a high volume program without having to purchase a mobile unit or construct a clinic. Because the funds remain local, these programs build relationships between humane organizations and the local veterinarian(s), rather than having the conflicts that often develop. What it takes…A Guideline for All Rural Spay/ Neuter Programs… : 31 What it takes…A Guideline for All Rural Spay/ Neuter Programs… A “spay/ neuter team,” a committed core group of at least three, preferably five to eight, humane society volunteers. One volunteer will be the, “coordinator.” One or more veterinarians or spay/ neuter program with an available time block on a regular basis. Low-income pet guardians and feral cat trappers. The Coordinator… : 32 The Coordinator… The coordinator organizes communication with the animal hospital or service provider. The coordinator should visit the hospital before the first clinic, and should be aware of where specific activities will take place and understand what each volunteer position entails. The coordinator maintains contact with the animal hospital and the volunteers. This individual oversees booking and makes sure supplies are on hand. Volunteers… : 33 Volunteers… Volunteers are responsible for scheduling, reminder calls, check-in and check-out. Volunteers are also responsible for tasks that may include moving animals to and from the surgery areas, monitoring animals during recovery, scrubbing instruments that have to be sterilized throughout the day, and other tasks that keep things moving. Volunteer activities are coordinated with the needs of the veterinarian. Getting Started : 34 Getting Started Scheduling… Remind clients to fast the pet the night before, and give directions to the clinic. Make reminder calls the day before. Stagger the times that clients should arrive, noting the vets preference for starting with cats or dogs. Some animals should be there before surgery time, but avoid a big jamb at check-in. If possible, leave a short break between arrival of cats and dogs. Volunteers are needed throughout check-in, then moving into other tasks. The longer the overall check-in time, the more volunteer staffing that will be needed. Give clients an approximate pick-up time or tell them you will call them for pick up. Before the Event! : 35 Before the Event! A volunteer orientation shortly before the first clinic to review the flow of the day is vital. Review at that time what supplies will be needed and who is responsible for what task. Volunteers should be people who have worked with your organization and attended the orientation, we discourage “show-ups.” Review any questions with the veterinarian and make sure that he/ she has seen your aftercare form. Supplies You Will Need : 36 Supplies You Will Need Forms for intake and release. Plastic quick ties to replace missing carrier bolts Intake-pens, forms, clip boards, masking tape and Sharpie markers (coffee pot is optional) Recovery supplies- newspapers for cages, towels, paper towels, masking tape, pens Release supplies-aftercare forms, owner copy of any paperwork, paperclips, etc. Carriers Check-in… : 37 Check-in… Get pets into cages before paperwork is started. Label the carrier immediately. Confusion over which pet belongs to who can result in serious problems. Note carriers containing pets belonging to homes with multiple pets at the clinic, use “1 of 2” or “2 of 2,” etc., to mark them.x Discourage clients from allowing pets to “visit” other pets. Children should not be unsupervised. Omissions on the paperwork in the morning will result in confusion at the end of the day. Make sure intake forms are signed, all services noted, and payment is noted on the form. Use post-it notes for extra information concerning the pet, including early release. …more check in… : 38 …more check in… Help clients with forms if necessary. Review pick-up times and explain that they will need a few minutes to go over aftercare instructions. Move cages into designated area for surgeries to start. During the Day… : 39 During the Day… Recovery activities depend on the veterinarian. Clean soiled cages. Wash instruments. Complete information on rabies forms. Move animals from the waiting area to the surgery area and then to the recovery area. Monitor pets in recovery. Release… : 40 Release… Clear, easy-to-read aftercare instructions, including emergency provisions, should go home with each pet. Review aftercare instructions verbally with each client. Assist clients to get the pet safely to their vehicle. Some of our protocol… : 41 Some of our protocol… Labeling with the owners name and animal type (FD, MD, FC, MC) should be on every carrier once the animal is in it. Check-in forms are placed on top of the carrier, and paperwork follows the animal through the day. No cat should be transferred from one carrier (or box) to another in an open area. Use a bathroom or other closed space to move a cat. No dog should be moved without a slip lead, even if carried. If a cat owner does not have a carrier, after release take the cat to the car in a humane society carrier, remove it in the car and return the carrier to the building. : 42 Upon being removed from the carrier for surgery, a piece of masking tape with the owners last name on it should be placed on the animals head between its’ ears; remove when pet returns to its’ carrier. Keep in Mind… : 43 Keep in Mind… Limit the first clinic to a comfortable number of surgeries for the veterinarian, also allowing volunteers to get the feel for how the day will go. If possible, visit a clinic or mobile unit beforehand. Anticipate no-shows, but discuss with the veterinarian whether to overbook. The “In-clinic Clinic” is a guest in the hospital. Clients should remain in the waiting area, and everyone should remember it is a hospital. More to Keep in Mind… : 44 More to Keep in Mind… In-Clinic Clinics should never compromise safety. Your first clinic will feel demanding, but it should not be chaotic. Be creative…you will succeed… : 45 Be creative…you will succeed… Success builds teamwork! One Oklahoma town has reduced their shelter intake of litters by roughly 90% through spay/ neuter efforts…you can do it too! For more information… : 46 For more information… The Oklahoma Spay Network is happy to share our forms, educational and promotional materials, and to work with your organization to plan an “In-Clinic Clinic.” An instructional DVD on In-Clinic Clinics is available. Several veterinarians in our network will offer information and tips on “In-Clinic Clinics” to veterinarians who are considering providing this service. Contact us at: email@example.com or call 918-367-8999 A warm thanks to Dr. Kay Helms, DVM, Dean Emeritus of the College of Agriculture at Murray State College in Tishomingo, OK, Veterinary Advisor and mentor to this program. Thanks also to PetSmart Charities, Inc., ASPCA, Oklahoma Humane Federation, Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association, the Oklahoma Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, SPAY OK, Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, Esther Mechler and many wonderful veterinarians and volunteers as well. The Oklahoma Spay Network is a project of Homeward Bound Humane Society, Durant, OK
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