Whether you have been working in a shelter for years or today is your first day, you have likely noticed that managing the health and wellbeing of the many animals under our care can be a daunting task. Performing daily rounds is an excellent way to keep your team informed and help ensure that every animal stays as happy and healthy as possible. This efficient method of physically observing every animal on a daily basis will facilitate decision-making, as well as each animal’s path towards adoption.
How are they helpful?
We know that shelters can be stressful environments, which can facilitate susceptibility to disease. To lend to that, animals of all ages and health statuses enter and leave our facilities on a regular basis. Daily rounds are a great way to ensure that animals are remaining healthy or are receiving and responding to treatments in a timely manner. By observing every animal every day, new illness can be detected early and in the case of infectious disease, potentially prevent shelter-wide outbreaks.
How do you do it?
The very nature of animal sheltering requires a team effort and effective communication to ensure the successful adoption of animals entering ours shelters. Daily rounds is an essential method of not only monitoring the health of each animal, but also is an opportunity to discuss that animal’s plan with a variety of team members with a goal of expediting the path towards adoption. Although there is no right or wrong way to perform daily rounds, they are typically held at least once daily, where every animal is observed in its enclosure and a brief history of the animal is reported. The current and future status of that animal is then discussed as a team with any needed actions recorded and initiated.
Who should come?
Because of the various needs of the animals, any staff member involved in decision-making should participate in daily rounds. This may include medical staff, behavior staff, managers, directors, adoption staff, and animal control officers. Although it will typically only take a few minutes to “round” about each animal, for shelters with large populations these minutes can quickly turn into hours. Dividing team members to cover different shelter populations may be the best viable option. Any serious concerns can then be reported to the entire group at a later time.
Is that all there really is to it?
Yes! It’s daily observation and discussion of each animal that can make all the difference in keeping the animals and shelter at their healthiest. However, you and your team decide to perform daily rounds, consider organizing your team and get started today!