In an unprecedented year, 2020 brought about a lot of change and many new opportunities for lifesaving innovation. Many communities across the country implemented lifesaving programs such as managed intake or return-to-field programs for community cats. Some launched their first-ever foster program. These are programs that engage the community to be part of the solution. Programs that have proven time and time again to save lives.
As the world returns to “normal,” many shelters and rescue organizations across the nation are at capacity or getting very close. When this episode was published (July 2021), the year-to-date data showed that intake was still lower than in 2019, but adoptions were also down. Something to cover in a future episode, but the data further underscores the point that community-supported sheltering is needed now more than ever.
At the welcome session of this year’s Best Friends National Conference, we heard from three industry leaders who shared how they not only navigated the COVID-19 pandemic but created significant advancements at their shelters to save more lives. Valerie Richardson, Cassandra Heffington, and Alexis Pugh shared their experiences, “aha” moments, and the pearls of wisdom that they acquired during the pandemic.
You’ll also hear how the pandemic caused Best Friends to take a hard look at our programs and what Sue Cosby and her team have done to engage the public more than ever before. So get ready to be inspired to implement or grow these types of programs in your community.