Guilford County Animal Shelter staff go door-to-door with new program to help keep animals at home

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford County Animal Shelter staff spent Friday morning going door-to-door in Greensboro talking to pet owners as part of a new program.

The goal is to learn what challenges families may be facing in some of the county's high call volume areas.

"As Animal Services, we have the opportunity to track all of our calls and where they come from, so we can do some strategic mapping to identify where the calls are coming from or the reasons we’re being asked to respond," Shelter Director Jorge Ortega said.

The shelter wants to identify reasons owners may be surrendering their pets, and connect them to resources that can help.

“These pets are already in a home, so if we wait until that pet shows up at the shelter, we’ve failed,” Ortega said.

The program was started with a grant issued by the Maddie's Fund Foundation and Ortega said the model is already being used in cities like Durham and Charlotte.

“Both of those communities have similar programs that have been successful, and keeping pets in the home, increasing that pet retention, and making that situation better,” he explained.

Staff asked questions, gave some owners pet food and gave a rabies shot at an owner's home.

Ortega said that program has started on a small scale, but they hope to expand.

“We want to get to know you, we want to find out what your challenges are, so this way you can keep your pet,” he said.

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