The Path Ahead Animal Shelter Consulting

The official blog of The Path Ahead Animal Shelter Consulting

Infrastructure building, Lifesaving programs, Management team support

Friday, December 26, 2014

What's in a Name? Part Two.

Success. When asked about their goals, animal shelter leaders will say, "We want to be successful," but what does that mean? What does success look like to you? Is it a high live release rate, more adoptions, less euthanasia? Does it mean that staff do their jobs efficiently, that the public is supportive? Is it to be "cutting edge" or "as good as" other shelters? Does it mean no one ever complains and there are never any problems? Is it the most unattainable goal of all, that "everyone is happy?" One can see that each of these interpretations of success will require a completely different approach, and that some are doomed to disappointment, so the first step in making a plan of improvement is to study the current situation and to set goals that are specific and realistic. As I said in Part One, to survive is to adapt, and as an industry we have not adapted well. We want things to change, but we don't want to change. Imagine if auto repair shops were run like animal shelters, and mechanics continued working on vehicles the same way they did in the 1950's. Fuel injection, anti-lock brakes, computers? No, we don't do that. Soon customers would stop patronizing these shops and they would struggle to stay open. Would they then change? No, they would blame the public for driving vehicles that can't be repaired, then put out a desperate call for donations to keep the business open. Sounds absurd? It's exactly the way most animal shelters are being operated today. Make a plan. Set goals. We can help you to achieve success, Animal Shelter Success.

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