Outcome: Follow up
Give advice in the future if problems arise
Whether a pet home with people or an alternative lifestyle is chosen, keeping in touch with the new owners/carers is really helpful, as you can establish over time whether your owner-cat matching ideas are working and be available for them if any problems arise.
- Give owners advice before the situation escalates and they consider bringing the cat back to you
- Only give advice that you feel qualified to give, if in doubt refer owners to their veterinary practice for advice on health, behaviour, nutrition and general welfare
- You can also refer them to the advice section of this website where there is a wealth of general information for cat owners
- Always make a note of calls or contact from past adopters so you can follow up to ensure they are getting the support and guidance they need
- Increasing your own knowledge through courses, e-learning, reading and conferences will enhance the service that you are already providing to the cat-owning public
Policies and procedures to support outcome decisions
Policies to Support Outcome
A policy sets a general organisation-wide philosophy about how to manage particular situations or types of cat. These are typical policies that you will need to create in writing to support outcome.
- Neutering before homing
- Adoption to indoor homes
- Age of kittens at adoption
- Ongoing support of elderly or sick cats
Procedures to Support Outcome
A procedure is a standardised way of working, usually documented in writing, followed by all staff and volunteers. These tend to be updated regularly to ensure they reflect current knowledge and best practice. These are typical procedures and paperwork to support outcome.
- Adoption process and paperwork
- Cat-owner matching for pet homes
- Advice and support packs for new owners
- Follow up – immediately after adoption and beyond
- Adoption problems – support pack
- Follow up for spay/neuter by owner or cats needing clinical input
- Procedure for supporting alternative lifestyle homes – ongoing
Call to action – Focus on the outcome!
- Make it fun for your staff and volunteers! This is another exciting step towards better care and helping more cats in the long-term
- Spread the word amongst all your staff and colleagues to ensure they are clear about the information you have gained from this section and that they understand the benefits of changing, eg focusing on outcomes for each cat and proactively seeking potential homes to have them ready and waiting for the right cat
- Make sure you collect some basic information that will show everyone the impact of changes – for example keeping a database of enquiries, possible alternative lifestyle homes and recording length of stay of your cats so you can monitor changes
- Review your existing outcome documentation; can it be used? Does it need adapting or replacing? Will you need more paperwork or can you expand the existing to ensure you capture the right information about prospective adopters and their homes?
- Review your existing policies; do you have any? Would particular policies be helpful in your situation? If so, make a list
- Review your existing procedures; do you have any written down? Would particular procedures be helpful in your situation? If so, make a list
- Give yourself a time limit to make these changes and don’t try to do too much at once. Make a list of tasks for each action you wish to take and put the items in order, with those of the greatest urgency at the top. Create a deadline for each task, for example, you may want to make one change every month or feel you can realistically achieve two or three. Allocate tasks to specific individuals or small groups so that everyone knows who is responsible for each action plan
- Keep talking and sharing progress with everyone – acknowledge that change may be difficult and can bring to the surface underlying problems that may not have been addressed in the past
- Don’t feel overwhelmed! Just making one change, such as identifying your first inbetweener and finding the right alternative lifestyle for this one cat, will make a positive difference