Texas Dog Shelter Director Tries New Ideas

Here's a shelter director with some new ideas that seem to be getting results -- more adopted pets! This article comes to us from the...

Joy  |  Sep 3rd 2006


Coppell Shelter Staff

Here’s a shelter director with some new ideas that seem to be getting results — more adopted pets!

This article comes to us from the Coppell Gazette Star in Texas.

Its not your average dog pound

By Stephanie Hutson, Staff Writer

Coppell Animal Services has a new director, and she is operating the shelter more like a community business than a dog pound. With new initiatives, such as staff training on customer service, and a greater presence in the community, more and more abandoned animals are finding their permanent home.

Heather Blair has been the shelter manager for more than three months, and in that time she has seen adoptions nearly double and the shelter environment evolve into an inviting place for the pets, staff and community.

Before, the shelter was a very sterile environment, but weve tried to make it a warm, community place where people want to come,” Blair said. The ultimate goal is to adopt out our pets to good homes and keep the community healthy and safe.

One of Blairs new features is a community board for lost or found animals and other information the community needs to know. While the idea seems simple, Blair said she has already seen a positive response to the board.

It has been great, and weve already had one cat found in just three weeks,” she said.

One of Blairs main objectives is promoting community awareness, and she and her staff have taken steps to make adoptable pets visible in the community, increasing the chance of finding their forever homes.

I’ll take them to City Hall or the police department and its been great, Blair said. Every one of the animals weve taken out into the community has been adopted.”

In the summer, children from the community will attend the shelter daily for a three-week educational camp to learn about caring for pets and animal safety. According to Blair, educating the community is key and it drives many of the new features she has implemented at the shelter.

There is an area in the lobby stocked with coloring books, magazines and books on dog and cat breeds for children to use when they come in. The staff also has resources to help community members pick the right kind of pet for them, whether thats in Coppell or not.

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