It’s not an Anthony Weiner post, I swear!
I had occasion today to visit New York City Animal Care and Control in Manhattan for the first time in a while. The three “full service” (as opposed to intake-only) locations keep the same hours of 8am to 8pm daily, but adoptions are done only between the hours of noon and 7pm.
When picking up animals I typically try to arrive in the morning, giving me time to transport prior to my evening employment. Something I saw today and have seen with alarming frequency was more adopters, having had the unfortunate luck to arrive at 10am, be told that the adoptions floor was not open… and so they left.
It took NYCACC 17 years to be convinced that adoptions were important enough to create a whole department devoted to their facilitation, and that department is supposedly now up and running. Funding is up. Excuses should be in short supply.
If your shelter is open for business, if you’re fully staffed, if you’re doing intake, then you need to be doing adoptions too. The people are coming. They want to adopt. Make that minor alteration in your scheduling – you can dip into some of the savings from not having a medical director for the last three years – and save some lives. This is the low-hanging fruit, one of the easiest things you can possibly do to get your adoption numbers up – which I think you have a keen interest in doing.
For extra credit… well, I understand the logic of closing the adoptions floor an hour before shelter closing. I get it. You want to give people the time they need to make the right choice, time to check the application, time to do the paperwork. But for extra credit, maybe don’t advertise it, but when someone walks in at 7:15 and wants to adopt… see if there is someone who will stay behind, make a little extra OT, and make it happen. They can easily be paid out of that extra adoption fee you wouldn’t otherwise have had, and you’ll save a life.
Because I assure you that when the puppy shop opens at 9 and closes at 5, they do not turn away a customer at 9:15 or 4:45. Don’t make that your potential adopters’ next stop.