2015 State of the Shelter Report

1165 Island Park Rd. Easton, PA 18042
Tel: 610-252-7722 Fax: 610-253-7581

State of the Shelter - 2015

“Animal care professionals are some of the most pain-saturated people I have ever worked with. The very thing that makes them great at their work, their empathy and dedication and love for animals, makes them vulnerable.” 
J. Eric Gentry

Did you know that the turnover rate for animal care workers is one of the highest? Between feelings of sadness and frustration to anger to happiness, it’s a roller coaster of emotions every day at The Center. Compassion fatigue can set in when an animal is either relinquished, abandoned, seized from a cruelty situation or euthanized for medical reasons. We are lucky to have so many dedicated employees and volunteers who continue to care and nurture over 1,400 animals who passed through our doors this year.

Current members of the Board of Directors of The Center include Helen Maurella, President, Angela Schmoyer Vice President, Valerie Antonelli Secretary, Anthony Schwickrath, Treasurer, Wendy Benedict, Dan Roman and Ronda Senior. Board members Michelle Kreeger and Ann Marie Still resigned in 2015.

Dan Roman continues to volunteer as Acting Shelter Manager since August 2014, and we all appreciate his efforts and dedication to this very demanding position. We recently conducted an active recruiting effort to hire a permanent shelter manager. After reviewing over 80 applications and interviewing 12 individuals we had 2 strong candidates. Due to personal issues both of them declined the position and we are pursuing other avenues to fill this position.
The remaining staff includes Kate Griffin- Business Manager, Cathy Ford- Animal Care Manager, Shelly McNeil- Feline Manager, Ashley Rodriguez-Canine Manager and Maria Zarate- Canine Enrichment Manager. There are 14 other employees, full and part-time, on staff. Our payroll represents 50% of our total budget and continues to be our biggest single cost. Ronda Senior volunteers as our volunteer coordinator and Acting Front Desk Manager. She has done an excellent job in recruiting new volunteers, updating the employee manual, working on Human Resource issues, improving employee morale, training and implementing new procedures at the front desk to streamline and improve our customer service and adoptions. We appreciate her tireless dedication.

On August 13th several staff, volunteers and board members attended an Adoption Options Conference at St. Hubert’s Animal Hospital in Madison, NJ. Many new ideas were presented and we received a personalized tour of their facility.

Access to veterinarian services continues to be a challenge. Our limited access to veterinarians and veterinarian techs who are willing to work at The Center hinders our ability to provide needed shot clinics and low cost spay/neuter services for the community. The loss of funds from these two services also affects our financial stability. In 2015, Angela Schmoyer took on the heavy responsibility of organizing eight shot clinics, generating $11,042.00 in revenue. Ideally, the Center would like to offer this service at least once a month throughout the county. Our spay/neuter clinic operated only 43 days in 2015, half of what we did the year before due to Dr. Milot’s resignation in June and Dr. Nigito cutting her hours at the shelter. We hired Dr. Maucher in September and from October till the end of the year we had limited spay neuter services available for the public.

Major Fundraisers for 2015 included:

• Pins for Pets (organized by L. Heinrich & A. Schmoyer) $57,765.00
• Vettes for Pets (hosted by Easton Corvette Club) $11,000.00 
• NC Govt. Center Bake Sale (Easter & Thanksgiving) $ 6,172.00
• Paws for a Cause $ 5,319.00

By far our largest donations come from those we can no longer thank. In 2015, we received $444,904.00 in bequest money. We are currently working with Lehigh University Fusion Group to create a Legacy Brochure to help spread the word on how to leave a lasting legacy of kindness in your name to benefit The Center.
Laura Slay, Helen Maurella, Angela Schmoyer, Dan Roman and Ronda Senior donated $1,500.00 to provide Christmas bonuses to our staff. We thank them all for their generosity during the season of giving.

In August we updated our By-Laws to reflect the change that we are a Life Saving Organization. We are now focusing on our Save Rate or as some organizations refer to as the Live Release Rate. Live release rate (LRR) is a formula that calculates the percent of animals that leave shelter facilities alive through:
• Adoption
• Return-to-owner
• Transfer to another non-profit agency that can guarantee a home 

The Center’s Save Rate averaged 87% in 2015. Our goal is to increase our Save Rate each month. Shelter statistics for 2014 and 2015 are as follows:

2014 2015
On Hand Jan 1 373 347
Strays 674 644
Owner Surrender 273 300
Transfer In 33 4
Other 202 125
Total Cared for 1555 1420

Adoptions 961 821
Return to Owner 36 33
Transfer Out 15 23
Died in Care 38 49
Euthanized 65 84
Other 88 73
On Hand Dec.31 352 337
Total Outcomes 1555 1420

Most of the year our dog kennels were below capacity. We did transfer in 2 dogs from Furry Feet Rescue during the year. However many of the local municipalities are adopting out stray dogs on their own rather than paying a fee to relinquish them to us. Unfortunately insuring that these dogs are spayed/neutered before they are adopted. The largest source of animal intakes for the shelter was stray animals, brought in by municipalities or the public, at 644 animals. The second largest source of intakes, at 300, were owner surrenders. This number has increased by 9% over last year’s figure. We recently began donating excess animal food donations to the local food banks in an effort to assist those who have financial hardships to help them keep their pets rather than relinquishing the animal to us. For the ninth year in a row our adoptions went down from 961 in 2014 to 821 in 2015. Too many animals spend years at the shelter, being overlooked for adoption for one reason or another. We welcome new ideas to facilitate a more aggressive and successful adoption program. Most of the shelter animals are on our website and Petfinder but inputting and updating this information is very time consuming for our volunteers. We appreciate the efforts of several volunteers who take pictures and write bios for the animals so their profile is appealing to people searching for a pet. We are also very grateful for the many volunteers who take our animals to offsites every weekend in an effort to expose them to potential adopters.

A Petco Foundation grant of $8,900.00 was awarded to The Center to update and improve the spay neuter house operations and provide more storage areas for medical supplies. This project was completed by two local contractors. Community Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts donated their time to build a large storage shed, create walkways for our dog walkers and paint the dog Meet & Greet room. Building and grounds maintenance was handled for most of the year by a part time maintenance man. As of this writing he has since left and we need to fill this position. We continue to have issues with our water/well system as the water consumption from the washers strains the ability of the well pump. Household washing machines use 3 times the amount of water that commercial washers use and our septic and water systems are being overburdened. 

Our dog warden inspections took place on March 19th and December 10, 2015. Both inspections passed with no deficiencies noted. 

The 2014 990 forms and our annual audit have been completed and all information is available on Guide Star.