is a three-year-old female American pit bull/terrier mix. This handsome fellow is looking for an energetic family to call his own. Here in the shelter, he looks intimidating in his kennel but it is only because he is SO excited!
is a two-year-old female terrier bull mix. Once this sweet girl bonds with you, there is no one else who matters! Nava really opens up around other playful and confident dogs, so she'd love to go home with a friend!
Cheyenne Animal Shelter Seeks Additional Funding
to Cover the Cost of Services
Recently, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter provided a contract proposal to the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County that seeks a significant increase in the amount of the contracts. We want to provide some additional information on the relationship between the Cheyenne Animal Shelter and these governmental entities and explain the reason for the increase.
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is an independent non-profit corporation. It is not a City or County department, but provides animal control and animal shelter services pursuant to contracts that are re-evaluated yearly. These services include all aspects of animal control (employing officers, vehicles, after hours/emergency needs, and housing and caring for stray animals and animals on court hold, which amounts to roughly 4700 of the approximately 6400 animals the Shelter cares for each year. Additionally, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter provides other community services such as feral cat programs, TNR programs, community outreach, and low cost spay/neuter programs, and, in some instances, medical treatment for those who cannot afford the care, etc. All of these services are essential to the welfare of the animals in our community.
Over the past eight years, the City and County Animal Control and Shelter contracts, which total approximately $723,000 per year, have not increased. This pays for less than one third of the Shelter’s total annual expenditures. Yet, in addition to the expenses to operate an ACO department, animals that come to the Shelter as result of these contracts make up about 75% of the total animals at the Shelter. Simply put, neither contract comes close to covering the cost of services the Shelter provides to the City and County.
Fortunately, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter has generous and dedicated donors and a foundation that currently cover over 50% of the total cost to operate the Shelter. But this has come at the cost of not making needed repairs to the building, replacing necessary equipment, and increasing the wages and benefits for our dedicated staff among other issues. In reviewing the finances over the last several months, it became apparent to the Board that the City and County need to pay an amount much closer to the actual cost of services in order to put the Shelter on a sound, sustainable financial footing.
The amount we seek in the contract proposal is not the full cost of the services provided. We understand that these changes will have to be incremental given the governmental entities’ own budget constraints. Nevertheless, we firmly believe it is in the best interest of the City, County, and the community to work together to find a way for the Shelter to continue to provide these essential community services, but we must do so in a way that ensures the financial future of the Shelter.
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter was founded nearly 50 years ago by a concerned group of local citizens eager to provide animal welfare services to the homeless and unwanted animals in the community. Each year, the Shelter cares for over 6, 000 pets including puppies and kittens, cats and dogs, rabbits, birds and a variety of other critters. We look forward to the next 50 years.
2019 Critter Camp Registration is now open!
Critter Camp is the Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s day camp for children ages 7 to 12 years old. This camp, now in its ninth year, is an excellent educational opportunity for children. Campers learn how to treat animals with compassion and respect. Children attending camp interact with a variety of animals from the shelter and the community, learn about animals from local experts, and participate in games, crafts and educational worksheets. The cost is $175 per camper, per week or $150 per camper, per week if more than one child is enrolled. Registration includes a t-shirt, camp supplies and a field trip. Campers will need to bring their own lunches.
Drop Boxes Are Now Closed
Based on recommendations from an external audit conducted by an animal behavior specialist and animal shelter consultant, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter has ended use of drop boxes, which allowed people to drop off stray animals when no employees were present. However, the Animal Control division will have an officer on call after hours to pick up lost, injured or aggressive animals.
In 2018, the Cheyenne City Council and Mayor Orr asked the Board to conduct an external review of the Shelter’s policies and procedures. The review cited concerns from Sheltervet.org, ASPCA and others that drop boxes could negatively impact the welfare of the animal being abandoned.
“We believe that this is an important step, and it’s one of several that we’ll be taking in the next few months based on the recommendations we received from this audit,” said CAS Board Chair Tammy Maas.
When the Shelter first opened, Board members worried that people would leave abandoned pets outside the building without food, water or shelter. Drop boxes complete with heat and air conditioning were built to allow people to drop off pets safely. Now the trend in shelters is to eliminate drop boxes because they make it difficult for employees to get information about the abandoned animals and they can cause undue stress for injured pets. Additionally, the boxes created safety concerns for shelter staff as it was common for staff to find everything from snakes to aggressive dogs, feral cats, rabbits and other critters in the drop boxes when they arrived at work in the morning.
In 2018 there were 588 animals left in the drop boxes including 525 stray animals picked up by the public and 63 pets that were surrendered by their owners. Out of these, there were 307 animals left with no paperwork, leaving Shelter employees in the dark regarding the animal’s demeanor, medical history, or owner.
The Shelter hopes that closing the drop boxes will encourage pet owners to talk with staff about alternative options that could help keep more pets in their homes.
The Shelter will also be altering their hours for accepting animals to open earlier at 8 AM and close at 6 PM. The public can call Animal Control (307-635-1453) any time for emergencies such as animals with life-threatening medical conditions or severe aggression. Cheyenne Animal Shelter reminds the public that abandoning or abusing animals is illegal and carries a maximum penalty of $750 and up to 6 months in jail. All suspected cases of abandonment will be investigated by Animal Control.
For lost or found pets after regular business hours, the public is encouraged to contact our Cheyenne Animal Shelter After Hours Lost and Found hotline at 307-214-5779 and/or connect with the Facebook page by the same title.
About Cheyenne Animal Shelter
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter was founded nearly 45 years ago by a concerned group of local citizens eager to provide animal welfare services to the homeless and unwanted animals in the community. Each year, the Shelter cares for over 6,000 pets including puppies and kittens, cats and dogs, rabbits, birds and a variety of other critters. To learn more visit: https://www.cheyenneanimalshelter.org
Cheyenne Animal Shelter Releases External Audit of
Policies and Procedures
Recently the City of Cheyenne City Council and Mayor tasked the Cheyenne Animal Shelter Board of Directors to have an external animal sheltering professional review of the Shelter’s operating procedures.
Trish McMillan with Loehr Animal Behavior, based in North Carolina, came to Cheyenne in early December 2018 to visit the Cheyenne Animal Shelter and review its current policies and procedures. She set forth goals for the Shelter and proposed a variety of ideas to streamline its behavior programs, which are detailed in her final audit report.
The Shelter can implement some of the changes at little or no cost, and staff is currently working on standard operating procedures to update employees on the new systems before they take effect. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing information via social media and our website to notify the public of the changes that are being made to improve animal placement and quality of life for animals.
McMillan holds a Master of Science degree in Animal Behavior from the University of Exeter in England. Her business, Loehr Animal Behavior, specializes in personalized training and behavior modification plans for dogs, cats, and horses. She worked for the ASPCA in a variety of roles for more than seven years, doing shelter work, writing and research. She also performed evaluations and did behavior work with animals from dogfighting and hoarding cases. Before working for the ASPCA, Trish trained and showed horses in a variety of disciplines, managed dog daycares, worked with shelter animals, taught obedience classes, and took in board-and-train dogs. She currently does some contract work with Dogs Playing for Life.
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s audit report may be viewed here.