Hey, shelters and rescue groups: Need some bones? Of course you do. And here's the easiest, most useful way to dig 'em up -- while also helping save dogs' and cats' lives.
Every single shelter and rescue group that is willing to bark up a little data will get $1,000 from Maddie's Fund
. Just sign up to participate in Shelter Animals Count
by April 30. You'll get another $500 for referring other shelters and rescues. (The fine print: All must be government-run, or a 501(c)(3).)
Participating rescues and shelters will be asked to provide information
about how many cats and dogs have come in every month, how old those animals are, and then what's happened to them (if they've been adopted, are still waiting to be adopted, have died, etc).
Here's the form that participants will fill out every month
Shelter Animals Count is an ambitious, necessary project, created by a coalition of animal welfare nonprofits, shelters, universities, and trade groups.
Its aim is to collect -- and share -- good, country-wide data about the animals going into shelters, and the animals making it out.
These comprehensive figures don't currently exist -- now, only estimates exist about the number of animals going into shelters, or even how many shelters and rescues are in operation.
Getting better data is key, to be able to track, analyze, evaluate, and spread the effective ways of getting more animals out of shelters and into homes.
It'll also help show where more resources are needed, and allow shelters and rescues to compare their own numbers with other similarly-sized operations around the country.
"This database is precisely what the animal welfare world needs to guide good decision-making and help enable a greater understanding of the issues facing rescues and shelters in this country," Jodi Lytle Buckman, board chair for Shelter Animals Count, told the AP when the project first launched,
This project has been in the works for half a decade. Reportable data is expected to be available starting sometime this year.
That's great news for shelter animals. Shelter Pets Count's creators believe, with good reason, that this database -- this data -- is a key step toward ending shelter euthanasia, and moving these United States toward becoming a no-kill nation.
As Maddie's Fund spokesperson Sharon Fletcher and Mary Ippoliti-Smith, on the Maddie's Fund executive leadership team, put it in an email to BarkPost
There are 29 million people who plan to acquire a pet this year. Current estimates show that 2.4 million dogs and cats aren’t making it out of the shelter alive.
Getting those pets adopted is key and then keeping track and measuring through this very important database will help us to end pet homelessness.
So do your part, shelters and rescues: sign up to participate
and collect your $1,000
Featured image via arquez/Flickr