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Go from Planning an Animal Shelter to Building an Animal Shelter

Animal Shelter Plans Should Involve Increasing Community Awareness!

It’s exciting to review animal shelter plans and animal shelter designs, but whether the design becomes an actual physical animal shelter building often hinges on one very important question: Is the majority of your community aware of the dire conditions at the animal shelter?

Because you are passionate about helping animals, you probably think that the entire community is just as educated about the dire conditions.  It’s easy to assume that everyone has the same information as you.  You probably say, “Of course my community is aware of the low adoption rates, the high kill rates, and the overall poor conditions at the local animal shelter.” However, recent research indicates otherwise.

A recent PetSmart Charity survey revealed that only 42% of the general population is aware of the pet overpopulation problem in the United States.  88% of respondents underestimate the number of pets euthanized annually.  While it’s always a good idea to take survey results with a pinch of salt, these numbers cannot and should not be ignored!



While the amazing staff and volunteers pour every ounce of energy into saving animals, they often neglect educating the community.  As we’ve mentioned several times in the past: without community support, it’s highly unlikely that any major improvements will happen at the shelter. 

Here are two effective and cost efficient ways to increase community awareness:

1) Gather Statistics and Broadcast via Social Media

You don’t need to be overly dramatic; simply state facts and broadcast these facts on your social media channels (Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter) with a call to action.  For example:

"Did you know Acme County Animal Shelter Kills 77% of the pets that enter the facility?  For more information on how you can help improve Acme County’s animal care, please contact Jane Doe at xyz."

Use our Free Report to collect your statistics and broadcast the results.  Continue to gather statistics about your shelter – the more statistics you have about the shelter, the more you’re able to build your case for support. 

2)  Schedule a Field Trip for Community Leaders

Here’s a recent quote from a community leader:

“I don’t think we truly get the impact you make in the county when we’re sitting around the budget table and we look at a five or six-figure request,” Parker said. “It doesn’t have the personality that being here does.”

Kindly request the community leader take a tour of the shelter.  If the community member can’t make it, why not video tape the shelter and upload the video to YouTube and broadcast it on your social media channels?

It’s up to your shelter’s leaders to increase awareness and community support.  When a community asks, “How can I help?” be ready with your animal shelter plans to show your vision for the future.