When saving shelter pets' lives, you can't know what's working or not if you're not tracking your efforts. So in 2016, Best Friends began an ambitious project to create the most comprehensive and accurate dataset tracking the lifesaving efforts happening in shelters across America.
Since we began collecting the data in 2016, the number of animals unnecessarily losing their lives in shelters has steadily decreased. But there were many questions about how the COVID-19 pandemic affected our lifesaving work. Would the number of pets entering shelters rise as the world tries to return to normal? How would the staffing crisis and the challenging economic period in 2021 impact our ability to save lives?
This week we welcome the senior director of lifesaving programs for Best Friends, Brent Toellner, back to talk through the headlines from the 2021 dataset.