February 6, 2023
A letter from our Executive Director
Animal sheltering data has never been more important than it is today, which is why Shelter Animals Count (SAC) continues to provide fact-based insights in order to transform the lives of animals and the people who love them.
Since our founding in 2012, SAC has remained the only independent and neutral source for animal sheltering data. We are also the only database of its kind to collect data on all species (beyond just cats and dogs) and all organization types (including brick and mortar, foster-based, government agencies, and other service providers).
Last year we expanded our reporting and dashboards to provide new views into the challenges facing our industry and we worked with local and national news outlets to share what was happening in shelters in their areas and across the country. We created new metrics (like the Population Balance Calculation) to simplify the explanation of why shelters are so full, even as intakes are still lower than before the pandemic. We automated data sharing from shelter softwares to the SAC database (through APIs) to free-up already limited staff resources and began sharing insights from our new Community Services Database…and so much more!
As our industry continues to evolve, the way we collect and utilize data needs to evolve as well, and SAC will continue to be the leader in these efforts.
Here are highlights of just a few of the things you can expect from SAC this year:
– We already have collected data from over 6,200 organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and in 2023 we will be expanding into Canada (something our Northern colleagues have been requesting for years)!
– Field Services Data is an important piece of the puzzle in animal welfare so we will be partnering with the National Animal Control Association (NACA) in 2023 to create this long-needed database, aligned with our ethos of data neutrality, safety, and integrity.
– Since the insights that data can provide are only as good as the consistency of the data being entered, we will be leading the efforts to standardize data definitions and data entry best practices as well as expanding the Animal Welfare Glossary we released at the end of 2022.
– Following the findings from the 2-year feasibility study on Animal Level Data we released last year, in 2023 we will begin tackling the challenges outlined in the report so we can both collect deeper levels of data beyond what is currently being collected and ensure that there is integrity in the insights provided.
– While everyone agrees that data is important, not many shelter have the resources to be able to analyze their own data in-house, which is why in 2023 we will be providing more automated data reports and dashboards as well as connecting organizations with skilled volunteers who are able to provide direct support through the expansion of our volunteer/loaned analyst program.
– It’s not enough to only reflect on where we have been by analyzing what has already happened, in order to make meaningful change we need to also be able to predict where we are headed so we can be proactive to tackle the challenges we face in animal welfare. That’s why in Q2 2022 we started including forecasting in our reports – which have proven to be incredibly accurate. This year we will continue to expand data forecasting and modeling to ensure fast, accurate, and predictive insights.
We look forward to sharing updates on these initiatives (and more!) in 2023!
Stephanie Filer, Executive Director
P.S. If you would like to learn more, get involved, or join the growing list of shelters who help sponsor this important work, please reach out or stop by to see us at the upcoming national conferences.
February 6, 2023
January 31, 2023
January 30, 2023