Here at the Fred SPCA we aim to provide the best experience possible for both the animals we serve as well as the larger community in which we live. Over the past year we have begun implementing our plan to become Fredericksburg’s premier Animal Resource Center, providing a full spectrum of services that extend well beyond adoption to include such community-centered programs as our nationally recognized Adventure Tails, the P.E.T.S. Initiative and low cost public veterinary care.
A major and important shift has taken place in animal welfare over the past ten years, with one important change being the increased effort to keep pets with the families who love them. For the Fredericksburg SPCA, that means increasing pet retention and thereby decreasing pet intake. If you walked through our halls as little as four years ago, you would have seen cages stacked on top of cages of cats and 2-3 dogs per kennel. Our goal was to take in every animal that came to our door, even if we didn’t necessarily have the space.
Oddly enough, since we started focusing on keeping pets with their people & foster based housing for the pets we do have in our program, our life saving numbers have increased!
How is that possible?
When we started focusing on the holistic care of the animals in our shelter, their health and mental well being increased dramatically. As a result, the animals in our care stayed healthier and happier and were adopted more quickly. Since the animals were staying in our care for less time, we were able to take in new animals on a more frequent basis.
One success story in particular is the implementation of the Adventure Tails program. This allows people to come by and take a dog or cat out for the day, giving them a meaningful break from the hectic shelter environment. After beginning the Adventure Tails program, we saw a 33% increase in adoptions and a 50% decrease in length of stay. Talk about awesome!
Once we had a pretty good handle on keeping the animals in our care happy and healthy, we shifted focus to keeping pets out of the shelter entirely. Let me introduce you to our dynamic People Empowered Through Support program, otherwise known as P.E.T.S..
When you call the SPCA to talk about turning in an animal, we spend time finding out what barriers are standing in the way of a successful animal and human bond. Sometimes it’s as simple as providing a monthly bag of food. Sometimes it’s more complicated, like a difficult living arrangement or an expensive medical diagnosis. Our team is dedicated to counseling pet parents on a wide variety of issues to try and keep pets in their loving home.
Our Pet Pantry program is one element of P.E.T.S. In 2018 alone, we provided over 40,000 pounds of food & basic supplies to over 500 families in need.
Our Safe Haven program offers temporary housing for animals displaced due to domestic abuse, hospital stays, or other events beyond the control of the owner. We have a skilled and knowledgeable staff able to troubleshoot behavioral issues, as well as professional trainers willing to step in and offer additional support for tough issues. Our Well Again program offers medical subsidy for injuries or illnesses that the owner cannot afford.
Speaking of veterinary care, in an effort to fill the veterinary care gap in our community, we opened our very own Community Medical Center (CMC)! We offer a myriad of low cost, high quality services from routine vaccinations to mass removals and dentals!
Our community resource program is ever growing, endeavoring to reach a point where the human & animal bond is supported 100% of the time to keep pets with those who love them. We hope to continue to grow and adapt, to expand our services and solve the core issues surrounding animal suffering & surrender.
Come by and see us for all of your animal related needs. We promise to greet you with a smile & make you feel like a member of the Fred SPCA Family.
Executive Director, Fredericksburg SPCA