McKamey Animal Center receives recommendations from animal welfare organization assessment

McKamey Animal Center continues its partnership with the shelter’s Best Friends Animal Society outreach program as the shelter implements national best practices in animal welfare, according to a statement from McKamey’s Executive Director, Inga Fricke.

The statement accompanied a report based on a shelter operation and on-the-ground assessment conducted by Best Friends’ shelter outreach team on May 3-4.

The Best Friends Shelter Outreach Program provides free, personalized assessments to municipal shelters and other animal welfare organizations. The assessments highlight areas in need of improvement and provide recommendations to address these issues, and the shelter’s outreach team also provides guidance in implementing recommendations to help ensure the sustainability of new programs put in place. , according to the Best Friends website.

McKamey requested the assessment in April after former employee Adriane Gutillo brought attention to several incidents she said happened at the shelter, including a dog left overnight in a truck and what Gutillo considered as inhumane treatment of a dog about to be euthanized.

In its review, Best Friends commends the shelter for its 23% reduction in cat and dog consumption in 2020, as well as its 82.7% savings rate for cats and dogs in 2020.

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Read McKamey’s field assessment by the Best Friends Animal Society here:

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Best Friends said in the report that, based on the available data, its top recommendations involve the consumption of stray dogs. The assessment suggests that McKamey develop standard operating procedures for field workers that include additional steps beyond checking ID tags and searching for microchips while remaining in the field to improve rates. returning animals to their owners.

The report also recommends that the shelter write standard operating procedures for all of its departments “with a sense of urgency.”

Other recommendations include expanding the foster program for underage kittens, whose care is time-consuming for shelter care staff. He suggests improving communication between the shelter’s various departments and reassigning staff assigned to his behavior program to tasks such as animal enrichment, consulting with families at risk of abandoning pets due to behavioral issues and “focus on pets that staff have identified as having behavioral issues.”

The report does not specify what the responsibilities of the behavior program staff were at the time of the evaluation. Best Friends requested that questions regarding the review be directed to McKamey.

Fricke did not respond to specific questions from The Times Free Press about the assessment or the shelter’s plan to act on the recommendations.

“[McKamey Animal Center] is committed to addressing the recommendations made in the recent Best Friends Shelter Field and Operations Assessment Report,” Fricke wrote in a statement sent to The Times Free Press in response to all questions regarding the assessment. implement, as we continue to serve the animals and community of Chattanooga every day. We look forward to continuing to make positive and strategic improvements to the animals we serve and our facilities over the next fiscal year. »

Improvements to the shelter’s infrastructure, including fencing repairs, are underway, according to Fricke.

Contact Emily Crisman at [email protected] or 423-757-6508.

Benjamin M. Yerger