Community-wide reporting of animal statistics comes to Pinellas | News
Pinellas County, Florida -- After several months of research and collaboration SPCA Tampa Bay, Humane Society of Pinellas and Pinellas County Animal Services have established a consistent reporting system that will allow each agency to clearly report animal intake and outcomes each month.
The figures are also easily combined to present a countywide view. The new tracking reports will be posted on all three agency websites starting in December.
One of the key factors in a communitywide approach to reducing euthanasia is finding a way for all the major organizations involved to share their numbers.
“The best shelter is a caring community,” states Dr. Julie Levy, director of the Maddie’s® Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida. “The forward-thinking and transparent reporting developed for Pinellas County will promote the collaboration needed to develop proactive and targeted projects that have the biggest impact on life-saving.”
“Our three agencies are caring for nearly 30,000 animals in Pinellas County each year,” said Martha Boden, CEO at SPCA Tampa Bay. “Those who care about animals need to see the countywide figures to understand the magnitude of the challenge, and the many ways to get involved.”
According to Sarah Brown, executive director at Humane Society Pinellas, finding a tracking method and formulas that would work for all three agencies required tackling differences in terminology and software systems.
“We wanted to ensure that we were all talking the same language and looking at the big picture of pet homelessness in Pinellas County. I am thrilled by the teamwork achieved by our respective shelters. By working as a community, we will certainly achieve more and make greater strides in reducing surrender and euthanasia countywide.”
The combined agencies represent the vast majority of animals in need in Pinellas County. “We hope this information will give everyone in the community who wants to help animals a way to focus and measure their efforts,” said Phil Morgan, bureau director at Pinellas County Animal Services. “It’s vital that as a community we explore all avenues that lead us to better protect the animals that depend on our agencies for their survival.”
The reporting matrix was created by the National Federation of Humane Societies to assist communities in developing a shared reporting methodology. Figures and rates are shown for dogs, cats and other species (e.g., rabbits, hamsters, birds, wildlife, etc.) and then totaled. The reported live release rate is calculated using the ASPCA’s formula. The rate is calculated by dividing the number of live outcomes (animals returned to their owners, adopted or transferred to other organizations) by the number of live admissions (strays, owner surrenders, etc.).
The animals surrendered by their owners specifically for euthanasia are excluded from the calculation.
While the mission of all three Pinellas agencies is to shelter and care for the county’s unwanted animal population, there are some differences in service capability.