Who we are: The Metro Denver Shelter Alliance was formed in 2000 by public and private animal service providers in order to better assist pets and people and to reach a common goal – reducing euthanasia by increasing the number of animals adopted and reunited at shelters throughout the community.
What we do: The mission of the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance is to foster collaborative efforts of local animal welfare groups to promote responsible pet ownership and increase the ”Live Release Rate” of companion animals. The Live Release Rate (based on the Asilomar Accords) reflects the percentage of animals that leave shelter facilities alive through adoption, return-to-owner, or transfer to a placement partner that can guarantee homes for the animals it receives.
How do we achieve our mission: Through collaboration, education, advocacy and resource sharing, MDSA works to increase companion animal adoption, reunite more lost pets with their owners, spay/neuter more pets, and decrease the number of relinquished pets.
Progress to date: Since the MDSA began keeping Live Release Rate statistics in 2005, the LRR has increased from 72 percent to 84 percent in 2011. Our overarching goal is to place as many shelter animals as possible into loving homes and, by coming together as a community, we are able to do this at a very successful rate. MDSA members appreciate the community’s support – and as that support grows, we’re confident we can save even more lives.
MDSA members practice:
- Common, non-judgmental language that is clearly defined and consistently used
- “No kill,” an emotion-laden term for which there is no universally-accepted definition, is never used by MDSA members.
- Members identify themselves as “open admission” (accepting all animals) or “limited admission” (limiting/selecting the animals accepted).
- Use of “open” and “limited” admission clearly defines the sheltering practices of MDSA member and eliminates use of divisive language.
- Transparency through statistics
- All MDSA members sign agreements to consistently collect and publish their Live Release Rate statistics.
- LRR statistics enable us to track emerging trends and identify the needs of pets and people in the greater Metro Denver area; we then develop programs and initiatives to improve the welfare of animals.
MDSA members offer many programs and services to promote responsible pet ownership and improve our Live Release Rate:
- Trap-Neuter-Return or Release (TNR) programs
- High-volume, subsidized spay/neuter services
- Access to shelter animals by rescue and service dog groups
- Foster care network for under-aged, traumatized, sick, injured, and other animals in need
- Comprehensive adoption programs that operate during weekend and evening hours and include offsite adoption venues
- Pet retention programs to address medical, environmental, or behavioral problems and keep animals with their caring and responsible owners
- Medical and behavioral rehabilitation programs
- Comprehensive transfer program between shelters for medical and behavioral rehabilitation and in cases of overpopulation
- Partnerships with corporations and business entities to leverage resources, share costs and enhance services available through our organizations
- Public education on all facets of responsible pet guardianship/ownership
- On-line and printed information on pet ownership for the Spanish-speaking community
- Lunch-and-Learn sessions for shelter and veterinary staffs improve communications with Spanish-speaking pet owners
- Community engagement in saving the lives of pets
- Volunteer programs to socialize animals, promote adoptions, and assist with shelter operations
- Use of microchip scanners in animal control officers’ vehicles to facilitate and expedite the return of microchipped animals to their owners
- Lost and found advice provided to pet owners via the MDSA website and Pet Resource Guide available at all member shelters
- Microchip ID group-buying programs for members and promotions for pet owners
- Director of each MDSA member organization commits in writing to the shared values and goals of MDSA
- Monthly meetings of shelter directors to address pet-related hot topics and ongoing initiatives
- Publication of the MDSA’s annual live release rate to educate the community about the current state of animal welfare efforts, progress and resource needs
- Post-adoption support to pet owners through outreach, training and medical services
- Programs to provide resources and education to pet owners to decrease relinquishments
- Assistance in providing and finding pet-friendly housing to reduce relinquishments
- National and regional collaborations, such as member participation in CFAWA and CATalyst