SALB is pleased to see that LBACS has taken steps to be proactive in the adoptions of animals. Back in May, SALB provided LBACS with an analysis of their website and asked Acting Manager Ted Stevens to take steps to make it easier to adopt animals at LBACS by making their website more adoption- and public-friendly (see the May 19th blog post below). We sent the recommendations directly to Manager Stevens in addition to featuring them on this blog. While not all of the recommendations were taken, we have noted the following:
We are pleased to report that the LBACS website now features a video highlighting the benefits of animal adoption. They also have included links to their Facebook and Twitter pages. The photo of a faceless enforcement individual (a badged arm holding a dog) has also been replaced, and an adoption promotion (9 Lives for $9) has been added. We are also happy to see that LBACS has reached out to the media to publicize this program and has spoken out about the benefits of pet adoption from the shelter in this article published by the Grunion Gazette.
This is clearly excellent news for the shelter animals in Long Beach.
We acknowledge these efforts, but at the same time, we want to remind LBACS and the supporters of No Kill in Long Beach that much remains to be done. If we want to reduce an 80% kill rate for cats and 28% kill rate for dogs here in our very own city of Long Beach, LBACS needs to continue to evolve by putting in place concrete, measurable programs that will reduce the rate of killing in our shelter. For example, although the LBACS website now also features a marketing program designed to increase the adoption of adult cats, the link on that photo leads to a flyer for the program, rather than to a photo gallery of adoptable animals at LBACS that people can see immediately. Also, adoptable animals at LBACS, including cats and other animals, are still difficult to find on the website, with SPCA and affiliated rescue partners' animals featured more prominently and thus easier to find on the website. (We remind readers that it is the LBACS animals that are in the greatest need, as LBACS is an open admission shelter and it is the LBACS animals that are in the greatest danger of being euthanized.)
Therefore, SALB would like to see a direct link to the adoptable animals on the LBACS side of the shelter placed on the home page of LBACS, so that the public can find these adoptable animals quickly and easily.
Clearly, more work needs to be done. We at SALB realize that municipalities do not have unlimited funds; therefore, most of our suggestions have been specifically-designed to be low or no cost. We are hopeful that LBACS will also realize that the key to making the transition to a No-Kill community, as has been done in many communities across the United States, is to increase outreach to volunteers. Therefore, SALB is reiterating the following recommendation: That LBACS increase their outreach to volunteers who can help them increase adoptions and pet retention and thereby reduce the kill rate in Long Beach's animal shelter. How can they do it?
1. Place a volunteer application on the front page of the LBACS website so that it is easy for the animal-loving public to get involved in helping on the kill side of the shelter.
2. Implement recommendations given by SALB on their Guide to Increasing Volunteerism.
No-Kill communities are changing the way we do sheltering in the United States. The Los Angeles animal shelter is taking significant steps in this direction. Can we do it Long Beach?
We know we can.
An initiative to make Long Beach a No Kill community.