COVID-19: Animal Care and Control response to the pandemic
Community Partnership and Managed Intake
In order to adhere to the County’s new pandemic guidelines, the Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) leadership, managers and staff met online to discuss how their standards of care could be maintained and even improved. From this, Managed Intake was born! Managed Intake is a partnership between care center staff and the public with the purpose of creating the very best outcome for the animals in need. Care center staff engage the public and educate them on alternatives to surrendering animals, while also supplying them with resources and assistance to empower them to provide the very best care.
Managed Intake has led to higher levels of community engagement. Members of the public utilize social media and other technology to help reunite pets with their owners; thus, becoming a partner with DACC in a community solution which enables the department to overcome the obstacles they may be facing.
Pet Fostering Creates Community Engagement
In response to the County’s pandemic guidelines, animal care centers were forced to curtail traffic at each location and made the decision to schedule appointments for potential adopters. This drastically reduced the foot traffic at the care centers and staff were concerned that this change would affect their ability to adopt pets out to their forever homes. Line staff, managers, executives, and volunteers worked together, and their online foster program was born! This program allows foster parents to apply and receive all their training online and provides curbside pickup once a foster match has been made.
The Department’s foster program has engaged the community, created strong partnerships, and ensures that the animals in their care still find their forever homes, regardless of outside circumstances. The community is engaged in finding solutions for the animals that need homes and in turn, receive love and companionship during difficult and isolating times.
Veterinary Outreach for Under-Served Areas
Lack of access to veterinary care and pet resources is a significant animal welfare crisis affecting pet owners throughout Los Angeles County. This problem has multiple causes, but socio-economic status, including homelessness, is a major factor. This was made even more evident when the pandemic hit as it created even more financial hardship for so many who were already struggling. The Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) established an outreach program which partnered resources from their animal care centers, mobile veterinary unit, and departmental volunteers.
The group focused on providing services to pet owners in underserved areas where pets are at high-risk of surrender due to the owners’ economic challenges and new financial hardships brought on by the pandemic. Over 89 animals were vaccinated, given flea treatment, rabies shots, dewormed, microchipped, and owners received pet food, leashes, treats and toys, all for free. DACC’s outreach program complements the Managed Intake model and provides support and resources to pet owners to mitigate the need to surrender pets to their animal care centers.
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