As the increases of animal becomes more of an issue the number of stray pets that fill our shelter has steadily gone up. I am proposing a plan that can reduce the numbers of homeless pets in our surrounding communities. By, implementing the following ideas we can immediately start working toward this vision of minimizing un housed pets. Recreating our organization from social media outreach to a face-to-face community outreach can generate uplift in the organization. The Department of animal services can become a great asset to the community by becoming more involved and develop closer ties with the communities we serve. Following my proposition I believe will bring us closer to archiving our goal.
The Riverside County Department of Animal Services (DAS) is a public agency that was established 20 years ago. The major areas of responsibility of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services are to save the lives of the animals in the four shelters servicing Western Riverside City/County, San Jacinto, Coachella Valley and Blythe. Riverside County Animal Services is a medium size department that has 200 field staff members that serve the community responding and aiding to approximately 60,00 animals annually and up to 20,000 emergency calls each year involving animals in danger.
Mission and Goals
The mission of the department is to “Work together to improve Riverside County for People and Animals” with a vision of “Promoting an environment of responsible pet ownership through progressive animal welfare initiatives, community outreach, and humane education in a culture of compassion, creativity and integrity.” We meet this vision by our shared commitment of
- “Demonstrating respect, sensitivity and understanding toward all people and animals.
- Improving Riverside County through education, humane sheltering, responsible pet placement, progressive law enforcement, and reduction of pet overpopulation.
- Using adoption, education, and veterinary medical programs as an alternative to euthanasia.
- Seeking lifetime homes for the pets we place.
- Providing the tools, environment, and information to foster a safe and healthy workplace with an emphasis on teamwork
- Collaborating to improve Riverside County for its people and animals” (RSDAS, n.d.)
The Organizational Chart is a diagram that outlines the organizations internal structure that provides guidance to all employees. There are several divisions within our department that are more structure than others. The attached diagram displays the hierarchy of the organization. The divisions in DAS are Veterinary Services, Field Services, Shelter Services, Fiscal, and Call Center. The Veterinary division operates under the senior veterinary division, two chiefs, and several supervisors at each location. The veterinary services are responsible for the entire vet care of the animals and licensing. Field Services operates under the Commander of Chief, Lieutenant, four Sergeants and field officers. Lastly, Shelter Services division operates under an Animal Services Chief, Supervisors and Animal Care Technicians.
The services provided at the Riverside County Department of Animal Services are dog and cat licenses, vaccinations, microchip registration, spaying and neutering. Such services are performed throughout Riverside County at the following communities. The western Riverside County area consists of City of Riverside, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Colton, Fontana, Menifee and Perris. On the other hand, the Desert regions of Riverside County are Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Indian Wells, Palm Desert, and La Quinta.
Dog licenses can be obtained in three different ways. New or renewals may be done online, fax, or by mail. An application needs to be completed and submitted with proof of rabies vaccinations and payment. By State law, all dogs are required to be licensed “the licensing of dogs is required by State law and County Ordinance. Dog licensing is an integral component of the statewide rabies control effort. All dogs are required to be licensed at the age of four months and provide proof of a rabies vaccination that covers the term of the license. An additional requirement is for licensed dogs to display the license tag at all times and to be microchipped. Dogs wearing current tags are held at animal shelters at least ten days so their owners can reclaim them” (RDAS, n.d.)
Lost and Found Pets
All pets that arrive to the shelter are listed and given an Animal Identification Number (AID) and are placed in Chameleon Database. When, finding stray animals, the fastest way to assist that animal is to take it to the nearest front counter of the nearest shelter. Requests for pick up from your home are during normal business hours; Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, calls are handled in a priority manner with animals that are sick, injured or aggressive receiving priority. If your pet is missing for a period of three days or more you are encouraged to search the adoptable pets database called Pet Harbor. The department of Animal Services personnel use the dog license, microchip and any other owner information to contact the owners of lost animals. Any dog found not to be rabies vaccinated, licensed or micro chipped will be cited for a spay and neuter violation in accordance with Riverside County Ordinance 6.08.120, Mandatory Spay and Neuter.
Adoptable Pets are featured on the Adoptable Pets website and are adopted on the first come first serve basis. This however, does not guarantee that pets seen on our web page will be available to adopt upon arrival at the animal shelter. If more than one party present are interested in the same animal, a raffle will be conducted among approved parties to determine who will be granted the adoption. All adopted pets include animal vaccinations, spay and neuter surgery and microchip. Adoption fees are broken down by the dog’s length of stay, the adoption fees varies greatly from zero to $105.The longer the dog stays at the shelter the cheaper the adoptions will cost. Here are the prices:
- 0-15 Days: $105
- 16-30 Days: $55
- 31 Days and Over: $20
- Senior Adoption Rates 50% Off
- Active Duty and Veteran Adoption Rates Free
Spay and Neutering
Spaying or Neutering is the surgical reproductive sterilization procedure of a pet. Spaying is done to females, it involves the entire removal of the reproductive tract that consists of the uterus and ovaries. Neutering is the surgical removal of the testicles to males. Both procedures are done while the pets are under general anesthesia are performed with a strict sterile technique. Moreover, in California the law requires that all adopted dogs and cats spayed and neutered before leaving an animal shelter.
Riverside County Animal Services offers low cost spayed and neuter services that dog owners pay $85 and cat owners pay $40. In addition, the department offers free assistance to pet owners to spaying and neutering their pets. Actors and Others and Petco Foundation nonprofit organizations provides $22,000 in grant funding to the department to provide free spay and neuter surgeries to residents in Riverside County areas.