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Routt County Humane Society: REDI Training Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Since we are a small organization in a predominantly white, rural, resort community, many of our potential adopters work in the service industry at minimum wage. This population also tends to be somewhat transient due to the seasonal aspect of their work, which has impacted adoptions.

Our staff is relatively young and new to animal welfare, so the REDI training was a perfect opportunity to provide training so that employees could recognize and overcome biases and challenges that typically impact people of color as well as low-income individuals and senior citizens.

The segment on the homeless population with their pet was especially impactful, as staff had preconceived notions of who should have a pet and under what circumstances.

This training helped staff look at the big picture of adoptions and how the adoption process could be more inclusive, as well as providing support to keep animals in homes. Training staff to be nonjudgmental and reducing barriers for adoptions was a key takeaway from the REDI course.

How many pets did this grant help?

25, and that is a conservative estimate

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

“Lee” had been in an abusive relationship and had made plans to relocate to Hawaii. Her constant companion, Bailey Boo, was a casualty of that relationship, as Lee could not take her to Hawaii. Lee surrendered her to RCHS in hopes that she would find a loving home.

Bailey Boo was overweight and tended to be a larger dog, so she sat in the shelter for a couple of months. She was adopted but, unfortunately, the adopters could not contain her in their yard while they were at work, so Bailey Boo was returned to the shelter.

With an exercise plan along with a structured diet to enhance her chances of adoption, Bailey Boo was ready for a second chance. As luck would have it, Lee returned from Hawaii and called the shelter inquiring about re-adopting Bailey Boo.

Prior to the training, RCHS had a policy of not re-adopting an animal back to the original owner. The training provided insight as to what really constituted a “good home” and focused the staff on reducing the challenges and barriers when determining what type of home was in the best interest of the animal.

Lee and Bailey Boo were reunited and are both doing well.

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