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NACA Statement on Officer Safety

In this challenging time, we are deeply concerned for the safety of animal control officers around the nation, who continue their work of saving lives and protecting pets and people. Despite the varying situations happening in many of our cities, we want you to know we are with you and thinking of you during this troubling time. We are here for you. Please be safe out there!

Stress & Ways to Manage it During COVID-19 and Beyond- Written By: Nina Stively

COVID-19 has changed our profession, possibly forever, and in many ways, for the better. We have started having real discussions with our state and local governments on what it means to be essential. We have adapted our shelter intake models, seeing intakes drop and...

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NACA Statement on Officer Safety

In this challenging time, we are deeply concerned for the safety of animal control officers around the nation, who continue their work of saving lives and protecting pets and people. Despite the varying situations happening in many of our cities, we want you to know we are with you and thinking of you during this troubling time. We are here for you. Please be safe out there!

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NACA and Justice Clearinghouse are excited to announce the availability of the NACA ACO II Course. This certification course is online and entirely self-paced. It is filled with more than 20 hours of instruction, activities and exercises designed to help you grow and succeed in your role.

justiceclearinghouse.com/naca-aco-2-course/
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Happy Fourth of July! Organizations are likely to see a higher-than-usual number of stray dogs over the next few days, so we wanted to offer some guidance for how animal services agencies can best help.

NACA Clarification on Continued Modified Operations Due to COVID-19

On May 6, NACA released a series of recommendations for continued, modified operations due to COVID-19. Among the recommendations is the following statement:

“Maintain a reduced flow of pets into the shelter and continue a slowed but steady approach to intake, adoptions, and other services…Admit pets with urgent medical needs; dogs that pose a risk to public safety; pets in immediate danger; and other animals with no other viable options once other options have been pursued.”

We are offering additional recommendations regarding the intake of stray or lost dogs, to clear up any confusion in interpretation.

1. Should animal services organizations be ‘closing intake’ or telling people to let dogs go? No. We exist to help the animals and people who need us, and we have an obligation to serve lost pets. If we ask our community to hold healthy, friendly stray dogs, we should also be providing support, services, and making sure the dog receives the same or better service level in the community as it would receive in the shelter.

2. Why keep more dogs in their homes and neighborhoods? Due to the impacts of COVID-19, it is crucial for animal services agencies to maintain a low inventory of animals housed in the shelter, to reduce human-to-human contact and the risk of spreading COVID. NACA’s recommendations aim to help shelters increase the number of animals that can be served in the community and not have to enter the shelter system.

3. What programs and services should agencies be implementing to get lost dogs home faster? When a Good Samaritan finds a friendly, healthy, lost dog, the animal services agency should increase efforts to help get that dog home quickly. These may include:

-Ask the person to hold the dog for a period of time to give the shelter time to locate the owner and get the dog home.
-Make microchip scanning accessible without finders having to come to the shelter. Private veterinarians, pet stores, fire stations, and libraries are all places you can engage to help with efforts to get lost dogs home.
-Ramp-up support for stray dog finders, including immediately posting found reports, helping to share found pet information on social media channels, printing and distributing found dog flyers, and connecting finders and owners of lost dogs.
-Get as many dogs as possible, microchipped, and tagged. Assign staff and/or volunteers to getting lost dogs home.

4. What if a finder cannot or will not hold a found dog? If a lost dog finder is genuinely unwilling or unable to hold a found dog, the animal services agency should schedule an appointment in a timely manner for the dog to enter the shelter system. Any urgent or emergency should be brought in immediately, but appointment-based services are recommended for non-emergencies to control the flow of people entering the organization. Animal services may also consider the following:

-Create a foster-on-deck system to have fosters who can immediately take in a found dog.
-Intake the dog and immediately pursue placing the dog in foster to reduce the number of pets housed in the shelter (this is not necessary for pets who are microchipped and have a likely owner coming to reclaim them).

As we move forward to create a better system for serving pets and people in a world facing the devastating impacts of COVID-19, we must continue to provide core animal services.

These services should be offered in conjunction with every effort made to reduce the number of animals entering the shelter system and to help animals outside of the shelter. To learn more about providing better services to keep more animals in their homes and communities and to get lost animals home faster, visit www.humananimalsupportservices.org
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All of us at NACA would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for Cindy Wiemann and her years of dedication to both NACA and Animal Welfare throughout the country. Since 2011 she has been a cornerstone of NACA, and though we are saddened by her resignation we wish her all of the best. Thanks Cindy!! ... See MoreSee Less

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