Shelter metrics

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This chapter considers what can be achieved through the use of metrics and provides real-world examples and guidance around how to begin using them. This is a similar process to clinical audit, with the aim of identifying where improvements can be made and tracking the success or failure of initiatives to boost performance.

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7.3 Comparison of the monthly incidence of post-ovariohysterectomy incision infections in cats in Somewhere Shelter in 2015 and 2016.
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7.4 Monthly incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (‘cat ‘flu’) in cats in Somewhere Shelter from January 2011 to December 2013.
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7.5 Incidence of upper respiratory tract infections by month (divided into seasons) and by age group in Somewhere Shelter in 2017. Juvenile = <6 months of age; adult = >6 months of age.
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7.6 Survival (%) of unweaned kittens (0–4 weeks of age) in Somewhere Shelter from 2013 to 2016.
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7.10 Median length of stay (in days) by month for cats in Somewhere Shelter from January 2014 to May 2017.
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7.11 Effect of feline upper respiratory tract disease (FURTD) on the median length of stay (LOS) of cats by age group in Somewhere Shelter in 2017.
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7.12 Graph of the average daily census of dogs in Somewhere Shelter by year in relation to the shelter’s dog housing capacity (indicated with the dashed line) from 2013 to 2016.
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7.13 Regularly exceeding the shelter’s capacity can lead to a vicious cycle, causing increased average length of stay, declining animal health and welfare and increases in stress to both the staff and animals. Although it may seem counterintuitive, reducing the number of animals in the shelter can be a powerful tool to promote health and welfare, and actually increase overall rehoming rates.
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7.14 Metrics are a familiar means of proactively addressing health concerns in dairy cattle. (© Jenny Stavisky)
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